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- Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Putin warns of consequences
Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, as Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of "consequences" if Kiev used the army against its own people.
Interior Ministry forces backed by the army removed three checkpoints manned by armed groups in the separatist-controlled town of Slaviansk, the ministry said in a statement.
"During the armed clash up to five terrorists were eliminated," it said, adding that one person had been wounded on the side of government forces.
Under an international accord signed in Geneva last week, illegal armed groups, including the rebels occupying about a dozen public buildings in the largely Russian-speaking east, are supposed to disarm and go home. Read more.
Ukraine forces say kill separatists in Slaviansk operation
Russian memo to WTO says U.S. sanctions are illegal
Putin says sanctions hurt Russian economy, but not critically
Russia says Kiev must take first step to solve Ukraine crisis
Clashes between armed separatists and government forces at a security checkpoint leave up to five pro-Russian rebels dead, raising fears that Russian troops might enter the fray. Mana Rabiee reports
- When Ukrainians took to the streets to protest their government in late November, they hoped to launch a revolution. What they didn’t realize when they toppled President Viktor Yanukovich in February is that a larger revolution would be in Vladimir Putin’s head.- Mark LeonardRead more at Reuters Opinion
U.S and Poland launch military exercises as war of words heightens between Washington and Moscow over Ukraine. Paul Chapman reports.
- France to send four Rafale fighter jets on Baltic security duty
France will send four Rafale fighter jets to Poland next week as part of a show of NATO commitment to Central Europe and the Baltic states, which have been rattled by the escalation of tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The four warplanes will be sent to Malbork in northern Poland on April 28 on a double mission: to train the Polish air force and stand ready for air patrols over the Baltic states under NATO command, the French defense ministry said.
- Ukraine gives Russia 48 hours to explain exercises
KIEV - Ukraine has asked Moscow, under European OSCE security arrangements, to explain and give details of its military exercises near the border within 48 hours, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.
(Reporting by Natalia Zinets and Alastair Macdonald)
People take part in a pro-Ukrainian rally in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
A monk blesses a Pro-Russian activist outside a regional government building in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
- Reader comment: I think it's funny that ali'o pulls our troops out from our enemies... afganies/middle east... and then so eager to jump on the Russian when they only want to keep the gay agenda acto's out f their neighborhood that ali'o set over...
- Reader comment: @CatherineBelton The report of shustry lacks credibility. It states "in reality, Mozhaev, 36....Though he would have liked to have served in the Russian special forces, he says his service was in the regular Russian army, and it ended in the mid-1990s, when he attained the rank of staff sergeant." So at the age of about 16 when his service ended he was staff sergeant, quite an achievment at such a young age. He does not look 36 more like 56.
A woman bandages the head of a pro-Russian activist injured outside the Mariupol town hall, East Ukraine April 24, 2014. The Mariupol police said officers were still conducting investigations in the building after breaking up a fight overnight when separatists occupying the city hall were attacked inside by about 30 unidentified men armed with clubs. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
- U.S. journalist released in east Ukraine: employer
American journalist Simon Ostrovsky has been released in eastern Ukraine, said online news site Vice News, for whom he was working in the city of Slaviansk when he was held by pro-Russian separatists on Monday.
"Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health," read a statement on its Web site on Thursday.
No information was immediately available from the separatists, who have said they hold several people.
(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
- IMF board to meet April 30 to review aid package for Ukraine
The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday that Ukraine's government had provided the documentation needed to show whether it had met conditions for a financial aid package and the Fund's board would meet on April 30 to review and consider the matter.
The IMF tentatively agreed in late March to provide a $14 billion-$18 billion two-year bailout to help Ukraine recover from months of political and economic turmoil. The IMF board has yet to approve that package.
(Reporting by Elvina Nawaguna; Editing by Paul Simao)
- France, Germany show EU support for Georgia as Ukraine crisis mounts
TBILISI - France and Germany assured Georgia on Thursday that a deal bringing it closer to the European Union would be sealed within weeks, moving to tighten ties with the ex-Soviet republic as tension mounts between Russia and the West ove rUkraine.
The two core EU nations' top diplomats affirmed plans to speed up the signing of a deal to boost trade and political ties - the same kind of pact whose rejection by Ukraine in November touched off the biggest East-West crisis since the Cold War.
- UPDATED STORY: Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near borderUkrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade.
- #Russia ’s annexation of #Crimea have plunged #Europe into one of its gravest crises since the #ColdWar @DrJMankoff cs.is/1tGwLRBcomment by CSIS via twitter 4/24/2014 3:54:14 PM
- comment by Arwa Damon via twitter 4/24/2014 3:45:50 PM
- great on the ground reporting from @shustry : Meet the pro-Russian separatists of eastern Ukraine ti.me/1hkClUD via @TIMEWorldcomment by Catherine Belton via twitter 4/24/2014 3:37:11 PM
Spring has come to the Donbas. Away from checkpoints and occupied buildings life is continuing as normal. In Donetsk town hall, masked members of a Russian extreme-nationalist group control the entrance and play chess in the lobby, while everyday work continues as if they were not there.- Why Ukraine's crisis is going nowhere fast. Read more at The Economist
Ukrainian soldiers stand near an armored personnel carrier at a checkpoint in the village of Malinivka, east of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine, April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would go in. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
- Ukraine president demands Russia end 'blackmail', pull back troops
Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov called on Russia on Thursday to pull troops back from their border, stop interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs and end its "permanent threats and blackmail".
Turchinov broadcast his brief address to the nation after Russia said it had begun military exercises near the border in response to escalation by Ukraine.
Saying Russia was "demonstratively concentrating armed forces" on the frontier, Turchinov added: "We will not give in to terrorist threats and will go on taking measures to protect the lives of our citizens.
- Kremlin says Ukraine events put legitimacy of May vote in question
ST PETERSBURG - Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said on Thursday that events in Ukraine, where government forces have conducted operations targeting separatists, raise serious questions about the legitimacy of a Ukrainian presidential vote set for May 25.
"There is no doubt that such a development as criminal actions by those in Kiev ... place the legitimacy of the election scheduled for May in very serious question," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
- Ukraine president calls on Russia to pull back troops from border
Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov called on Russia on Thursday to pull troops back from their border, stop interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs and end its "blackmail".
Turchinov broadcast his brief address to the nation after Russia said it had begun military exercises near the border in response to escalation by Ukraine.
- Russia says sanctions hurting, warns foreign firms not to go
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Ukraine-related sanctions were hurting Russia while one of his ministers said foreign oil and gas companies that quit the country would not be able to return soon.
Putin went further than he had before in acknowledging the impact on the economy of U.S. and European sanctions imposed over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, although he said the damage was not very serious.
"Overall they are causing (damage), because (credit) ratings are being reviewed, loans could become more expensive and so forth. But this is of no critical character," he said in a televised meeting with regional media in St Petersburg.
- .@zbig : I view what is happening in Ukraine & Russia as a very serious development, we are stumbling into a very serious crisis #CSISLivecomment by CSIS via twitter 4/24/2014 2:49:57 PM
- "I think it is important to start out by saying that what we're seeing here is not a civil war. Rather, it's a land grab by President Putin that's boosting his popularity at home."- James Fearon, professor at Stanford University. Read more at Vox.com
A Ukrainian soldier stands guard in front of an armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint in the village of Malinivka, east of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine, April 24, 2014. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
Ukrainian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint in the village of Malinivka, east of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would go in. REUTERS/Marko Djurica
- The Ukraine crisis, as explained through weird web cartoons: bit.ly/PwAKzQcomment by Ezra Klein via twitter 4/24/2014 2:34:35 PM
- Israel rejects link of Ukraine crisis to anti-Semitism
Israel played down on Thursday suggestions that anti-Semitism in Ukraine is linked to Kiev's standoff with Russia, offering a more measured assessment than the Kremlin or the United States as it avoids taking sides in the East-West confrontation.
Moscow has aimed allegations of anti-Semitism against the pro-Western Ukrainian government. Washington has condemned an incident in a city with a strong pro-Russian movement where Jews were handed leaflets using language reminiscent of the Holocaust.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected a connection between the five months of unrest and the situation of Ukraine's 200,000 Jews.
- Separatists surround 'liberated' Ukraine city hall
The Ukrainian government said a town hall at Mariupol in the east of the country had been "liberated" on Thursday from pro-Russian protesters, but the situation on the ground was less clear.
Dozens of pro-Moscow demonstrators were surrounding it later in the day and controlling access to the building, which was still flying the separatist flag. Tires and barbed-wire barricades remained in place
Police were working inside the five-storey city hall, which appeared to be otherwise empty.
- Separatists Surround 'Liberated' Ukraine City Hall: Reuters
- Dollar gains on fade on escalation of Russia/Ukraine tensions: Reuters
- LIVE UPDATE Interior Ministry: more than 100 National Guardsmen surround Mariupol city council, 10 armed men inside kyivpost.com/content/ukrain…comment by kyivpost via twitter 4/24/2014 2:08:39 PM
- #Ukraine pauses operation in Slovyansk amid "heightened risk" of Russia attack, security official says on.wsj.com/1oOslWmcomment by WSJEurope via twitter 4/24/2014 2:08:04 PM
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) attends a televised meeting with regional media in St. Petersburg, April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow separatists in the east of the country, the Interior Ministry said on Thursday, as Putin warned of "consequences" if Kiev used the army against its own people. REUTERS/Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin
A pro-Russian man stands guard at a checkpoint which was left by Ukrainian security force officers near Slaviansk, April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces said they had killed several pro-Russian militants in clashes as they closed in on the separatist-held city of Slaviansk on Thursday, seizing rebel checkpoints and setting up roadblocks as helicopters circled overhead. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
- Is Ukraine headed for a civil war? Here’s what the world’s top scholar on war told @zackbeauchamp : vox.com/2014/4/24/5643…comment by max_fisher via twitter 4/24/2014 1:55:56 PM
"Those separatists, they violated the constitution, they are torturing the country, they violated laws, they do not recognize the authority of police so the army had to move in and we will finish what we have started so help me God."- soldier with Ukrainian military speaking to Reuters. Read more.
Ukrainian helicopter just dropped leaflet over Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. Warns residents to avoid "Russian terrorists http://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bl_ZkSYIUAAYZbi.jpgcomment by lukeharding1968 via twitter 4/24/2014 1:49:01 PM
A Ukrainian security force officer stops a local resident at a checkpoint which was set on fire and left by pro-Russian separatists near Slaviansk, REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
- Czech PM says Czechs, Slovaks skeptical about Russia sanctions
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are skeptical about imposing broad-based sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine because it could damage economic growth in Europe, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Thursday.
Sobotka said after meeting his Slovak counterpart Robert Fico that any decision on further sanctions should be taken at the level of European heads of state and government and the Czechs would speak against "broad-based" sanctions.
- Separatists in #Sloviansk tell @kajtweets : "People are prepared to give their lives to defend their rights." on.mash.to/1iiiotocomment by Pete Cashmore via twitter 4/24/2014 1:40:20 PM
A woman cries outside the mayor's office in Slaviansk, April 24, 2014. Ukrainian forces clashed with pro-Russian militants as they closed in on the separatist-held city of Slaviansk on Thursday, seizing rebel checkpoints and setting up roadblocks as helicopters circled overhead. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
- Germany says blocked $7 million worth of defense exports to Russia
Germany has suspended 5 million euros ($7 million) worth of defense equipment exports to Russia in light of Moscow's actions in Ukraine, and will halt the transfer of already licensed goods in "critical cases", according to Germany's Economy Ministry.
The ministry made the disclosure in response to questions from the opposition Greens party, which the Greens made available on Thursday.
It said 69 export applications were affected. Berlin first announced the suspension of defense exports to Russia last month, but gave no further details.
- comment by John Reed via twitter 4/24/2014 1:35:11 PM
- BP's stake in Rosneft and Total's stake in Novatek have both lost $1bln in value since Crimean fun started early March. #Ukrainecomment by Pierre Briançon via twitter 4/24/2014 1:34:06 PM
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SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia - U krainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east, and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. | Video
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