KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 21 (Reuters) – An agreement
reached last week to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was
faltering as the new week began, with pro-Moscow separatist
gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they
Washington says it will hold Moscow responsible and impose
new economic sanctions if the separatists do not clear out of
government buildings they have occupied across swathes of
eastern Ukraine over the past two weeks. U.S. Vice President Joe
Biden was due in Kiev later on Monday.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian authorities in eastern Ukraine presented identity documents, maps and a business card to support their view that Ukrainian far-right nationalists had carried out a deadly attack early on Sunday.
The nationalists and authorities in Kiev said it was a staged display to conceal the hand of Russian secret services in the gunfight, in which at least three people were killed.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 20 (Reuters) – At least three
people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of Sunday
near a Ukrainian city controlled by pro-Russian separatists,
shaking an already fragile international accord that was
designed to avert a wider conflict.
The incident triggered a war of words between Moscow and
Ukraine’s western-backed government with each questioning the
other’s compliance with the agreement, brokered last week in
Geneva, to end a crisis that has made Russia’s ties with the
West more fraught than at any time since the Cold War.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 20 (Reuters) – At least two people
were killed in a gunfight early on Sunday near a Ukrainian city
controlled by pro-Russian separatists, shaking an already
fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider
After the deaths, Russia questioned whether Ukraine’s
Western-backed government was complying with the agreement,
brokered last week in Geneva, to end a crisis that has made
Russia’s ties with the West more fraught than at any time since
the Cold War.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Gunfire erupted near a makeshift checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists near Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine early on Sunday, killing at least two people.
Separatists gave a higher casualty figure, saying they had come under attack from Ukrainian nationalist paramilitaries.
DONETSK/KIEV (Reuters) – A Ukrainian rabbi whose congregation was the target of an anti-Semitic leaflet that drew global media interest and condemnation from the U.S. government believes it was a hoax and wants to put the matter to rest.
But five days after the incident in the restive eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine’s prime minister, anxious to maintain U.S. support against Russia, issued a statement accusing Moscow and told a U.S. TV channel he would find the “bastards” responsible.
KIEV/DONETSK, April 19 (Reuters) – A mediator from Europe’s
OSCE security body headed to eastern Ukraine on Saturday seeking
the surrender of pro-Russian separatists as the Kiev government
declared an Easter truce following a peace accord with Moscow.
Gunmen occupying public buildings in Donetsk and other
Russian-speaking border towns refuse to recognise an accord in
Geneva on Thursday by which Russia, Ukraine and Kiev’s U.S. and
EU allies agreed that the OSCE should oversee the disarmament of
militants and the evacuation of occupied facilities and streets.
KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 19 (Reuters) – The Ukrainian
government said it will not attack pro-Russian separatists over
the Easter weekend as its U.S. ally threatened Moscow with new
sanctions if it fails to persuade the militants to surrender.
The Kremlin denies having control over gunmen who want their
eastern regions to follow Crimea in being annexed by Russia.
Moscow scolded Washington for treating Russia like a “guilty
schoolboy” following their agreement in Geneva on Thursday that
Ukrainian militants should disarm and vacate occupied buildings.
SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine, April 18 (Reuters) – A day after
an international deal in Geneva to defuse the East-West crisis
in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists vowed not to end their
occupation of public buildings and Washington threatened further
sanctions on Moscow if the stalemate continued.
Leaders of gunmen who have taken over city halls and other
sites in and around Donetsk this month in pursuit of demands for
a Crimea-style referendum on union with Russia, rejected the
agreement struck in Geneva by Ukraine, Russia, the United States
and European Union and demanded on Friday that the leaders of
the Kiev uprising must first quit their own government offices.
KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – If armies march on their stomachs, then Ukraine’s rival protest camps could be in for a long campaign, judging by the cooks hard at work behind the barricades in Kiev and Donetsk on Friday.
A day after Ukraine and Russia agreed that protest sit-ins must end, pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine said they would not quit occupied public buildings and pro-Western activists in the capital insisted they would not dismantle their Maidan camp, which helped topple the Kremlin-backed president.