Clamp-down on pro-Russia militants under way in Ukraine - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Ukrainian military convoy dispatched against pro-Russian militants

Posted: Updated:
A convoy of Ukrainian soldiers and armored personnel carriers leave the city of Donetsk heading east. (Source: CNN) A convoy of Ukrainian soldiers and armored personnel carriers leave the city of Donetsk heading east. (Source: CNN)

(RNN/CNN) – Ukraine's acting president, Olexander Turchynov, said the threatened clamp-down on pro-Russia militants in the eastern part of the country is under way, now that a government deadline has passed for separatists to lay down their arms.

Turchynov had warned protestors to disarm or they would face a full-scale anti-terrorist operation by the Ukrainian military.

Officials in Kiev say a Ukrainian National Guard battalion of 350 troops was sent to the Donetsk region Tuesday. A Ukrainian general says separatists who don't lay down their arms "will be destroyed."

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N., Yuriy Sergeyev, said his government will not allow what happened in Crimea in March to also occur in eastern Ukraine and that the actions by the Russian Federation poses a serious threat to Ukraine and international peace and stability.

"We call upon Russian partners again to stop immediately actions aimed at undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," Sergeyev said. "We demand to leave us in peace."

The crisis in Ukraine has been escalating recently as pro-Russian separatists took over multiple buildings in at least 10 east Ukrainian towns.

Over the weekend, one person was killed and several others were wounded in clashes between pro-Ukrainian crowds and pro-Russian separatists.

Samantha Powers, the U.S. Ambassador the U.N., is accusing Russia of spreading disinformation and inciting instability in Ukraine.

"This instability was written and choreographed in and by Russia," Powers said.

NATO Secretary General, Anders Rasmussen, has called on Russia to stop destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and pull back its troops from the country.

"Russia should stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution," Rasmussen said.

On Monday, President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Ukrainian crisis, urging Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine's border and use his influence to push pro-Russian groups to end their standoff.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Ukrainian military forces clashed with about 30 armed gunmen at a small airport near Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. This is the first military action taken against pro-Russian militants.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network and CNN. All rights reserved.

  • Crisis in UkraineMore>>

  • OSCE team in east Ukraine comes near shelling

    OSCE team in east Ukraine comes near shelling

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:40 AM EDT2014-09-15 08:40:42 GMT
    Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe say they were just 200 meters (650 feet) away from four shell-bursts in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has continued despite a cease-fire...More >>
    Observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe say they were just 200 meters (650 feet) away from four shell-bursts in eastern Ukraine, where fighting has continued despite a cease-fire agreement.More >>
  • Residents emerge in shell-shocked Ukrainian city

    Residents emerge in shell-shocked Ukrainian city

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:50:22 GMT
    Several residential neighborhoods in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk have come under repeated shelling, imperiling a fragile cease-fire agreement imposed last week.More >>
    Months of daily shelling reduced the east Ukraine city of Luhansk to a ghost town, silent but for the explosions.More >>
  • Russia-annexed Crimea votes for legislature

    Russia-annexed Crimea votes for legislature

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-09-14 13:10:06 GMT
    Residents of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, are voting for their regional parliament in elections expected to be dominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin's backers.More >>
    Residents of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in March, are voting for their regional parliament in elections expected to be dominated by Russian President Vladimir Putin's backers.More >>
Powered by WorldNow