Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ukraine Sends Force to Stem Unrest in East

The Ukrainian military landed airborne troops at an airport about 25 miles south of here on Tuesday, raising tensions with Russia in the opening phase of what the government in Kiev called a wider military operation to confront pro-Russian militants in the eastern part of the country. Later in the day, a column of armored personnel carriers flying Ukrainian flags approached Slovyansk from the north, parking for a time beside a highway and setting up a checkpoint. Of all the cities in the east, Slovyansk seemed to have fallen most completely under the control of pro-Russian separatists, who have erected massive defensive barricades outside the buildings they occupy. The Ukrainian authorities said the movements were the first in a campaign to drive separatists from government buildings in as many as 10 cities in eastern Ukraine. The initial steps suggested that the government in Kiev, which had been hesitant to do anything to play into Moscow’s narrative that Russian-language speakers are in need of protection, was now willing to use the military to try to restore order in some places.

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