The Globe & Mail / Reuters, By Pavel Polityuk & Thomas Grove, April 12
Kiev/Moscow – Armed separatists took virtual control of a city in eastern Ukraine on Saturday and Kiev prepared troops to deal with what it called an “act of aggression by Russia”.
Pro-Russian activists carrying automatic weapons seized government buildings in Slaviansk and set up barricades on the outskirts of the city. Official buildings in several neighbouring towns were also attacked.
The developments have increased concerns of a possible “gas war” that could disrupt energy supplies across the continent.
“The Ukrainian authorities consider the events of the day as a display of external aggression from Russia,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement.
“Units of the interior and defence ministries are implementing an operational response plan,” he added.
Al Jazeera: Several police buildings seized in Ukraine – Security forces exchange fire with men in Kramatorska and separatists also take buildings in Slovyansk and Donetsk.
Voice Of Russia: Lavrov denies east Ukraine unrest was conducted by supposed Russian agents
Reuters: Ukraine gives rebels deadline to disarm or face military operation , April 13
Ukraine has given pro-Russian separatists a Monday morning deadline to disarm or face a “full-scale anti-terrorist operation” by its armed forces, raising the risk of a military confrontation with Moscow.
Angered by the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two comrades near the flashpoint eastern city of Slaviansk, acting president Oleksander Turchinov gave rebels occupying state buildings until 0600 GMT to lay down their weapons.
The U.N. Security Council has called an urgent, previously unscheduled meeting Sunday night to discuss the worsening situation in Ukraine.
The delegation from Luxembourg tweeted the “urgent consultations” were requested by Russia and would be held at 8 p.m. ET.