Ukraine crisis: Is Russia ready to move into eastern Ukraine?

Moscow Landmarks

Moscow Landmarks

Source: BBC

Ukraine’s interior minister has warned pro-Russian activists who have taken over state buildings in eastern cities to enter talks to find a political solution or face “force”.

Arsen Avakov said the situation would “be resolved in 48 hours” either way.

Earlier, a number of people held inside a state security building in Luhansk since Sunday were freed.

The EU, Russia, US and Ukraine are to meet next week in the first four-way meeting since the crisis erupted.

The talks are aimed at breaking the impasse since Russia annexed the southern Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in February. Russian troops are now massed along the borders of the two countries.

‘Forceful answer’

Mr Avakov said an “anti-terrorist operation” was under way in the regions of Luhansk, Donetsk and Kharkiv and would be concluded within the next two days.

“There are two options,” he told journalists, “political and negotiations – and force.

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Crisis timeline

  • 21 Nov 2013: President Viktor Yanukovych abandons an EU deal
  • Dec: Pro-EU protesters occupy Kiev city hall and Independence Square
  • 20-21 Feb 2014: At least 88 people killed in Kiev clashes
  • 22 Feb: Mr Yanukovych flees; parliament removes him and calls election
  • 27-28 Feb: Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in Crimea.
  • 16 Mar: Crimea voters choose to secede in disputed referendum
  • 18 Mar: Russian and Crimean leaders sign deal in Moscow to join the region to Russia

“For those who want dialogue, we propose talks and a political solution. For the minority who want conflict they will get a forceful answer from the Ukrainian authorities.”

Continue reading the main story in BBC

Categories: Europe and Australia, Russia, Ukraine

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