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Sep 17, 2014

Ukraine PM tells army to be on full battle alert despite ceasefire

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prime minister told government forces to remain on full battle alert on Wednesday as fighting in the rebel-held eastern city of Donetsk killed at least two civilians and further strained a ceasefire with Russian-backed separatists.

“Russia definitely will not give us either peace or stability. It is not their goal. So I am asking the defense minister for full battle readiness,” Arseny Yatseniuk, who is emerging as a policy ‘hawk’ in President Petro Poroshenko’s leadership, told a government meeting.

Sep 16, 2014

Ukraine ratifies EU deal, offers special status to rebels

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine ratified a sweeping agreement with the European Union on Tuesday – an issue at the heart of the Russia-West crisis over its future – and sought to blunt the independence drive of Russian-backed separatists by offering them temporary and limited self-rule.

But though Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko savored a historic triumph with parliament’s seal of approval for the EU deal, his peacemaking efforts drew derision from separatists and some mainstream politicians, while his military reported three more deaths of Ukrainian servicemen despite an 11-day ceasefire.

Sep 15, 2014

Fresh shelling in Ukraine’s Donetsk puts ceasefire under more strain

KIEV (Reuters) – Fighting broke out again in Ukraine’s rebel-held city of Donetsk on Monday as President Petro Poroshenko prepared to unveil a risky plan to give the separatist-minded east “special status” in a bid to end a conflict that has killed over 3,000 people.

The renewed fighting in the east’s main industrial hub, following a weekend in which at least six people were killed and a team of international monitors was shelled, put fresh strain on a 10-day-old ceasefire between government forces and Russian-backed separatists.

Sep 2, 2014

EU proposes tough sanctions on Moscow as Ukraine rebels advance

BRUSSELS/KIEV (Reuters) – European officials proposed sweeping new sanctions on Tuesday to starve Russia’s companies of capital and technology as punishment for Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, where Kiev officials said Russia was bolstering an “invasion” force.

Western countries accuse Moscow of sending armoured columns of troops into Ukraine, where the momentum in a five-month war shifted last week decisively in favour of pro-Russian rebels, who are now advancing on a major port.

Sep 1, 2014

Ukrainians pull back from airport; Poroshenko slams Russia

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said on Monday it had pulled its forces back from defending a vital airport in the east against Russian tanks, as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of “direct and open aggression”.

The withdrawal from the civilian airport outside the city of Luhansk was the latest in a string of reverses for Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists who Kiev says have the direct support of hundreds of Russian troops and armor.

Sep 1, 2014

Fighting goes on near big Ukrainian city, Poroshenko slams Russia

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s military said on Monday its forces were battling a Russian tank battalion for control of a vital airport in the east of the country as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of “direct and open aggression” against his country.

Ukrainian coastguards meanwhile searched for two seamen missing after one of their patrol boats was sunk in the Sea of Azov by artillery fire from pro-Russian separatists on the shore.

Aug 31, 2014

Ukraine says Russian tanks flatten town; EU to threaten more sanctions

KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine said Russian tanks had flattened a small border town and pro-Russian rebels had made fresh gains in its east, as EU leaders signaled on Saturday they would threaten more sanctions against Moscow over the crisis.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, attending an EU summit in Brussels, said he was hoping for a political solution, but warned that his country was on the brink of full-scale war.

Aug 30, 2014

Ukraine says Russian tanks flatten town; EU ready to prepare sanctions

KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Saturday Russian tanks had flattened a small border town and pro-Russian rebels had made fresh gains in its east, as EU leaders signalled they were ready to prepare more sanctions on Moscow over the crisis.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, speaking ahead of an EU summit in Brussels, said he was still holding out hope for a political solution but told journalists there were now thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks in his country.

Aug 29, 2014

Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis

LAKE SELIGER, Russia/KIEV, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Ukraine called
on Friday for full membership in NATO, its strongest plea yet
for Western military help after accusing Russia of sending in
armoured columns that have routed its troops on behalf of
pro-Moscow rebels.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, defiant as ever, compared
Kiev’s drive to regain control of its rebellious eastern cities
to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in World War Two. He
announced that rebels had succeeded in halting it, and proposed
that they now permit surrounded Ukrainian troops to retreat.

Aug 29, 2014

Ukraine seeks NATO membership in response to Russia joining war

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine said on Friday it would seek the protection of NATO membership after what Kiev and its Western allies say is the open participation of the Russian military in the war in Ukraine’s eastern provinces.

Formal Ukrainian membership in the Western military alliance – which would come with the full protection of a mutual defense pact with the U.S. superpower – remains an unlikely prospect, at least in the near future.