Correspondent, Politics and General News
Thomas's Feed
Apr 16, 2014

Separatists fly Russian flag over Ukrainian armoured vehicles

KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists hoisted the Russian flag on Ukrainian army armoured vehicles in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, mocking the pro-Western Kiev government’s attempt to reassert control on the eve of crucial talks in Geneva on the country’s future.

Amid escalating rhetoric between Moscow and Kiev, the incident highlighted defiance by pro-Russian separatists, undermining central government efforts to push armed rebels out of captured buildings in 10 eastern towns without bloodshed.

Apr 16, 2014

Pro-Russians take control of Ukrainian troop carriers

SLAVIANSK/KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Armored personal carriers driven into the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk had been under the control of Ukrainian armed forces earlier on Wednesday, pictures taken by Reuters photographers showed.

A soldier guarding one of six troop carriers now under the control of pro-Russian separatists told Reuters he was a member of Ukraine’s 25th paratrooper division from Dnipropetrovsk.

Apr 16, 2014

Rivals show force in eastern Ukraine before talks

KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian government forces and separatist pro-Russian militia staged rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday amid escalating rhetoric on the eve of crucial four-power talks in Geneva on the former Soviet country’s future.

Government troops drove seven armored personnel carriers flying the Ukrainian flag into the town of Kramatorsk after securing control of a nearby airfield from the rebels on Tuesday, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to warn of the risk of civil war.

Apr 16, 2014

Troop carriers enter east Ukraine town bearing Russian, separatist flags

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Six armored troop carriers entered the eastern Ukrainian town of Slaviansk on Wednesday carrying the Russian national flag and the banner of pro-Russian separatists, a Reuters eyewitness said.

Several armed men, who wore different types of battle fatigues and appeared to be pro-Russia activists, sat atop each of the vehicles. The vehicles stopped outside the town’s city hall which has for several days been occupied by separatists.

Apr 15, 2014

For east Ukraine, Kremlin adapts Crimea playbook

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – There are important differences between Russia’s intervention in Crimea and the events unfolding this week in eastern Ukraine which suggest Moscow has adapted its Crimea playbook and may be pursuing a different outcome.

Unlike the Black Sea peninsula, where thousands of Russian troops were already based at ex-Soviet naval facilities leased from Ukraine, there is little clear evidence of Moscow deploying significant forces on the ground in the east of the country.

Apr 15, 2014

Ukraine launches “gradual” operation, action limited

KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainian forces launched a “special operation” on Tuesday against separatist militia in the Russian-speaking east, authorities said, although aside from a landing by airborne troops the action was limited.

Soldiers disembarked from two helicopters at an airfield at Kramatorsk, where reporters earlier heard gunfire that seemed to prevent an air force plane from landing. The troops withdrew into barracks after local civilians manning a barricade gave them a hostile reception when they tried to leave the compound.

Apr 15, 2014

Russia says Ukraine on brink of civil war

KIEV/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with troops and armoured personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.

Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the separatists to lay down their arms, witnesses however saw no signs yet that Kiev forces were about to storm state buildings in the Russian-speaking east that the rebels have occupied.

Apr 15, 2014

Ukraine crackdown on pro-Moscow separatists gets off to slow start

KIEV/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow separatists was underway, though the crackdown got off to a slow start, if at all.

Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the separatists to lay down their arms, witnesses reported no signs yet that Kiev forces were ready to storm state buildings in the Russian-speaking east that the rebels have occupied.

Apr 15, 2014

Ukraine crackdown on pro-Moscow separatists gets off to apparently slow start

KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine, April 15 (Reuters) – Russia
declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev
said an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow
separatists was underway, though the crackdown appeared to get
off to a slow start, if at all.

Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for
the separatists to lay down their arms, witnesses reported no
signs yet that Kiev forces were ready to storm state buildings
in the Russian-speaking east that the rebels have occupied.

Apr 15, 2014

Separatists ignore ultimatum, tighten grip on east Ukraine

SLAVIANSK/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine and instead seized more buildings as the government failed to follow through on a threatened military crackdown.

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized Russia in a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin later on Monday, saying Moscow’s actions in Ukraine were not conducive to a diplomatic solution.

    • About Thomas

      "Thomas Grove covers politics and general news in Moscow. He worked in Istanbul from 2006-2010, covering political, financial and energy news."
    • Follow Thomas