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LifeNews Blames Right Sector, Conscripts For Luhansk Border Fighting

Pro-Russia militants fire from a residential building at Ukrainian border guards defending the Federal Border Headquarters in Luhansk on June 2.
Early morning on June 2, armed insurgents attacked a border-guard checkpoint in the Luhansk region of southeastern Ukraine.

According to an unconfirmed account by Ukraine's border-guard service, as many as 400 rebels participated in the operation.

Rebel fighters said Ukrainian servicemen had rejected an offer for safe passage if they agreed to abandon their posts.

Here is video of the attack, provided by the Ukrainian Border Guard Service:

With even rebel fighters admitting an attempt to seize the border-guard outpost, it seems clear that an incursion was initiated by insurgents.

But here's how LifeNews -- an Internet video service said to have ties to Russia's security services and criticized as a Kremlin mouthpiece -- frames the battle:

"The [Ukrainian] National Guard has opened fire on a southern region of a city in Luhansk," says an anchor for the news portal. "They are using not just small arms but also artillery."

She then brings in Aleksei Repin, a correspondent who is reporting from an apartment block apparently located near the fighting.

"When did the [Ukrainian] special forces begin their attack and what's happening now?" the anchor asks.

Amid the sound of gunfire, Repin explains: "Two-hundred meters from here is the military garrison of the Ukrainian border guards. There are 200 fighters -- including contractors, conscripts, and national guardsmen. We also have information that Right Sector is there as well."

Right Sector, an ultranationalist Ukrainian group, has become the go-to bogeyman for Russian authorities, who have accused Ukraine of promoting "fascism."

Claims of the group's omnipresence have become more difficult since its presidential candidate, Dmytro Yarosh, received just 1 percent of the vote on May 25.

Repin goes on to say that the ragtag Ukrainian group opened fire on the village at 4 a.m., using small arms, sniper weapons, and grenade launchers.

The camera then pans to people who appear to be local residents. The correspondent reports that they are running to work.

For the non-LifeNews version of what is happening in Luhansk, follow us here.

-- Glenn Kates