SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and were looking for more assurances about their security before leaving the public buildings they are holding.
The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.
DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – The self-declared leader of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Denis Pushilin, on Friday said he does not consider his men to be bound by an agreement between Russia and Ukraine requiring illegal groups to disarm and vacate buildings.
The Geneva agreement, signed by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on Thursday, requires all illegal armed groups to disarm and end to the illegal occupation of public buildings, streets and squares.
DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists occupying public buildings in eastern Ukraine reacted to an international accord to defuse the crisis on Thursday by saying they would not agree to leave the sites before other major conditions were met.
The Ukrainian and Russian governments, along with the United States and European Union, signed an agreement in Geneva that said: “All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.”
MARIUPOL Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict.
Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Geneva, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine, while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three attackers were killed in the shooting that followed, making it the bloodiest incident so far in a 10 day uprising in the east.
A single grey police jeep was inside the compound on Thursday morning with broken windows, flat tires and bent doors. The gates of the compound had been flattened. There were shell casings outside the gates and several unused petrol bombs.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three of the militants were killed, bloodshed likely to overshadow crisis talks in Geneva.
Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Switzerland, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine.
YALTA/SIMFEROPOL, Crimea (Reuters) – A few months ago, 2014 looked like it might shape up as a decent year for Crimean tour operator Gulzade Odamanova, who even had a few dozen overseas bookings on her calendar from Germans, Poles and the occasional Italian.
But after the picturesque Black Sea peninsula was seized by Russian troops this month, all of the foreigners canceled.
SEVASTOPOL, Crimea (Reuters) – An airbase commander who has become a symbol of Ukrainian resistance in Crimea was released by Russian forces after being “illegally” detained, Ukraine’s acting president said on Wednesday.
The freeing of Colonel Yuliy Mamchur, along with three fellow officers, follows Russia’s takeover of the last military ship controlled by Ukraine in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula whose largely bloodless annexation Ukraine refuses to recognize.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialized allies warned Russia on Monday it faced damaging economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
Leaders of the Group of Seven nations, meeting without Russia, agreed to hold their own summit this year instead of attending a planned G8 meeting in the Russian Olympic venue of Sochi, along the Black Sea coast from Crimea, and to suspend their participation in the G8 until Russia changes course.
THE HAGUE/FEODOSIA, Crimea (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought support from European allies and China on Monday to isolate Russia over its seizure of Crimea, and Ukraine told its remaining troops to leave the region after Russian forces overran one of Kiev’s last bases there.
Obama, who has imposed tougher sanctions on Moscow than European leaders over its takeover of the Black Sea peninsula, will seek backing for his firm line at a meeting with other leaders of the G7 – a group of industrialized nations that excludes Russia, which joined in 1998 to form the G8.