KIEV, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian troops hoisted their national flag over four more eastern cities, except for the insurgents' main stronghold Slavyansk, Ukrainian senior officials said Sunday.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey and Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko reported Sunday to President Petro Poroshenko that the cities of Artemovsk and Druzhkovka in the Donetsk region, as well as Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka, were controlled by the Ukrainian forces.
"Ukrainian troops have liberated two more populated areas from militants," said the latest statement posted on the Ukrainian president's website, raising the total number of the cities regained by the Ukrainian government forces to five.
The president was also informed on the current law enforcement operations in eastern Ukraine.
The president ordered special attention be paid to removing mines in the city to prevent civilian casualties, infrastructure reconstruction as well as providing food, drinking water and humanitarian aid to residents, the statement said.
Andriy Lysenko, spokesman of the National Defense and Security Council, announced earlier in the day that "anti-terrorist operation forces have freed cities of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka in the Donetsk region over the past 24 hours."
"The militias have left Slavyansk and are now located in the city of Donetsk, which has become the defense center of the republic," the Interfax news agency reported Sunday, quoting the speaker of the so-called "Union of People's Republics."
Ukrainian troops regained control over the eastern city of Slavyansk Saturday and started to restore order in the city. The Donetsk People's Republic insisted, however, that the withdrawal did not mean the resistance had been crushed.