Ukrainian forces mobilized near Sloviansk and Kramatorsk, where separatists had seized government buildings. Despite the tense atmosphere and likelihood of conflict, the mood in eastern Ukraine remained defiant. Sloviansk, a small industrial town near the Russian border, transformed into a potential battleground. Armed pro-Russia activists occupied a police station and were prepared to face Ukrainian forces. The situation escalated as machine-gun fire was heard and Ukrainian forces clashed with separatists. Amidst the crisis, US President Barack Obama expressed “grave concern” over Moscow’s perceived support for the separatists, which threatened to destabilize Ukraine’s government. Despite this, anti-US sentiment persisted in the region, and the possibility of further bloodshed increased.