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Apr 18, 2014

East Ukraine separatists stay put despite diplomatic deal

KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm.

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.

Apr 17, 2014

Armed men put Putin on the air in eastern Ukraine

ANDRIYIVKA, Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed men took over a television tower in eastern Ukraine on Thursday and switched it to Russian channels playing an almost non-stop stream of sound-bites from a marathon TV phone-in by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Employees at the tower said the men, who were armed with Kalashnikov rifles, barged in after arriving in cars and frightening off guards by firing a shot.

Apr 16, 2014

Separatists take armoured vehicles, humiliating Ukraine forces

KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists flew the Russian flag on armoured vehicles taken from the Ukrainian army on Wednesday, humiliating a Kiev government operation to recapture eastern towns controlled by pro-Moscow partisans.

Six armoured personnel carriers were driven into the rebel-held town of Slaviansk to waves and shouts of “Russia! Russia!” It was not immediately clear whether they had been captured by rebels or handed over to them by Ukrainian deserters.

Apr 16, 2014

Pro-Russia separatists take armoured vehicles, humiliating Kiev forces

KRAMATORSK/SLAVIANSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Separatists flew the Russian flag on armoured vehicles taken from the Ukrainian army on Wednesday, humiliating a Kiev government operation to recapture eastern towns controlled by pro-Moscow partisans.

Six armoured personnel carriers were driven into the rebel-held town of Slaviansk to waves and shouts of “Russia! Russia!”. It was not immediately clear whether they had been captured by rebels or handed over to them by Ukrainian deserters.

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.

    • About Thomas

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