Ukraine Announces Full-Scale Army Operation on Pro-Russian Militants in Seized Buildings; Verge of Civil War; Russia Calls for Emergency UN Meeting
In what some call "crunch time" others a worst case scenario, Ukraine Announces Full-Scale Army Operation on Pro-Russian Militants in Seized Buildings.
Ukraine's president says a full-scale operation involving the army will be launched in the east after pro-Russian militants seized government buildings.Troubled Areas
Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said he would not allow a repetition of what happened in Crimea which was annexed by Russia last month.
His live televised address from parliament came after pro-Russian forces targeted half a dozen cities.
An urgent meeting of the UN Security Council will be held in New York.
The meeting, at 20:00 New York time (midnight GMT), was called for by Moscow, which has strongly criticised Kiev's plan to use its armed forces in eastern Ukraine.
Responding to Mr Turchynov's address, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman said the plan to use the armed forces was "criminal" and caused "particular indignation".
Ukraine was, the spokesman said, "waging war against its own people".
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen's statement on Sunday drew parallels with some aspects of last month's seizure of Crimea.
He said the "reappearance of men with specialised Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insignia, as previously worn by Russian troops during Russia's illegal and illegitimate seizure of Crimea, is a grave development".
On Saturday, armed men took over police stations and official buildings in Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Druzhkivka.
Similar accounts emerged of armed men dressed in camouflage arriving in buses in Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and storming the police stations.
BBC reporters in Sloviansk said the gunmen were well-organised and quickly established control throughout the town. Checkpoints had been set up on the main roads into the town.
Bloomberg reports ‘Crunch Time’ for U.S., EU as Pro-Russians Battle Ukraine Forces
U.S. and European leaders trying to stop the further destabilization of Ukraine have reached “crunch time” as pro-Russian separatists and security forces shoot at each other in the town of Slovyansk, analysts said.Russia Calls for Emergency UN Meeting
Envoys from Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and European Union are due to sit down in Geneva on April 17 to look for ways to end the crisis touched off by Russia’s takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean region last month. Agreement may have become a more distant prospect today as camouflaged gunmen fired on government forces near Slovyansk, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the Russian frontier in eastern Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk described the situation as a “worst-case scenario.”
“This is crunch time for the West’s response to Russia’s attempts to assert its influence over eastern Ukraine,” said Nicholas Spiro, founder of Spiro Sovereign Strategy. “This is supposed to be the trigger for more meaningful economic and trade sanctions against Russia. We’re now going to see the extent to which the West is unified in its willingness to face down Russia.”
In response to the violence and threats of further violence Russia Seeks UN Meeting.
Russia called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council tonight after Ukrainian security forces battled pro-Russian gunmen in the eastern town of Slovyansk.Verge of Civil War
The Security Council session was scheduled for 8 p.m. in New York as the U.S. and Russia’s allies traded accusations over who was behind the violence.
Camouflaged gunmen fired on units deployed by the government in Kiev in an anti-terror operation near Slovyansk, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the Russian frontier, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said today on Facebook. One serviceman was killed and five were wounded, with an unknown number of dead on the separatist side, he said.
“Over the past few hours we’ve witnessed the worst-case scenario playing out in Ukraine,” Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who has advocated a strong response to Russia, said in an interview with Radio Zet in Warsaw.
One person was killed and nine were wounded in Slovyansk, news service Interfax reported, citing Donetsk regional Governor Serhiy Taruta. It didn’t give details on who the casualties were.
Russian state-run Rossiya 24 TV said Ukrainian pro-Russian “self-defense” forces led by an Afghan War veteran had spread across Slovyansk and troops allied to the government in Kiev arrived in armored personnel carriers and by helicopter.
Unfortunately, evidence suggests Ukraine is on the verge of a civil war.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock