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April 13, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
MOSCOW -- Ukrainian forces launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the city of Slavyansk on Sunday morning after pro-Russian separatists seized buildings in the eastern area of the country, acting Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook account. "Units from all law enforcement agencies of the country are being used [in the operation]," Avakov wrote. "God is with us!" Armed men in masks and unmarked camouflage uniforms stormed and seized administrative buildings and police stations in Slavyansk and at least two other towns in the coal-mining region of Donetsk on Saturday.
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WORLD
April 25, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine - At the epicenter of the pro-Russia rebellion in eastern Ukraine, masked men on Friday raced around in commandeered police cars, blowing through stop lights and flying over speed bumps. Although it was a warm spring day, the streets were nearly empty. Separatists described taking up sniper positions in an unfinished office building, only to find that two floors down their enemies had the same idea. The Ukrainian government declared Friday that it planned to surround and blockade this town, which is completely controlled by the separatists.
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NEWS
February 16, 2014 | By Richard Fausset
MEXICO CITY -- Two Basque separatists believed to be part of a terrorist cell that killed 18 people in several attacks in Spain were arrested Sunday in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta, a joint operation with Spanish and Mexican authorities, the Spanish Interior Ministry said.  Juan Jesus Narvaez Goñi and Itziar Alberdi Uranga are suspected of belonging to the separatist group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or ETA, and had been fugitives...
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine -- Ukrainian government troops killed at least two pro-Russia separatist gunmen in Slovyansk on Thursday and drove away others occupying key public buildings in the city of Mariupol in an operation the Kremlin condemned as the Kiev government attacking "its own people. " Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the actions in eastern Ukraine and the deployment of NATO forces in member states bordering Russia to the west had "forced" the Kremlin to order more military drills of its troops amassed on Ukraine's border.
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's interim government on Tuesday made good on threats to move against pro-Russia separatists occupying eastern cities, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to demand U.N. condemnation of the use of force in the neighboring country. In a call to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Putin "emphasized that the Russian side expects the United Nations and the international community to clearly condemn the Kiev authorities' anti-constitutional military operation in Ukraine's southeast," the Itar-Tass news agency reported . Russia-backed militants who have seized government and security facilities in at least 10 towns and cities in eastern Ukraine were under fire in the city of Slavyansk, Russian news media reported, casting the operation to recover Ukrainian government control as a violent strike against civilians.
WORLD
April 13, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected and updated. See below for details.
MOSCOW -- Vowing that the Russian takeover of Crimea would not be repeated elsewhere in the east of his country, Ukraine's interim president gave separatists until Monday to lay down their arms and surrender government buildings they have seized or face a crackdown by military forces. Those separatists who don't fire on security forces and surrender their weapons will not be prosecuted, President Oleksandr Turchynov promised Sunday. “The Council of National Security and Defense has decided to carry out a large-scale anti-terrorist operation with the use of armed forces of Ukraine,” Turchynov said in a televised address to the nation Sunday afternoon.
WORLD
November 16, 2012 | By Emily Alpert
Rebels who took over northern Mali this year clashed Friday with Islamists who had ejected them from major cities, spokesmen for both sides told reporters. A Tuareg rebel spokesman said the clashes near Ansango were part of an offensive to recapture the Gao region, Agence France-Presse reported . Oumar Ould Hamaha, spokesman for the Islamist group MUJAO, told the Associated Press the Tuareg started the fray by kidnapping a dozen of its members. “The fighting began this morning,” Hamaha said.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected, as noted below
DONETSK, Ukraine - Ukraine government forces on Wednesday recaptured a southeastern town that had been held by separatist rebels, the Interior Ministry said. There were no casualties in the operation in the town of Svyatogorsk, according to an statement posted on the ministry's website. The ouster of the rebels was a welcome strategic gain by the Kiev government in the troubled Donetsk region, close to Ukraine's eastern border with Russia. “The recapture of Svyatogorsk is an indication that the anti-terrorist operation, which experienced certain problems last week, is now gaining momentum,” said Dmitry Tymchuk, head of Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research.
WORLD
April 14, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- A threatened sweep by Ukrainian armed forces to oust pro-Russia gunmen occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine failed to materialize after local police in the besieged venues apparently refused to take part in the proclaimed "anti-terrorist operation. " Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had issued an ultimatum on Sunday that gunmen holding key government facilities in Donetsk, Luhansk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities in the volatile eastern and southern areas of Ukraine lay down their arms Monday or face ouster at gunpoint by Ukrainian troops and police.
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
SLOVYANSK, Ukraine -- Ukrainian government troops killed at least two pro-Russia separatist gunmen in Slovyansk on Thursday and drove away others occupying key public buildings in the city of Mariupol in an operation the Kremlin condemned as the Kiev government attacking "its own people. " Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the actions in eastern Ukraine and the deployment of NATO forces in member states bordering Russia to the west had "forced" the Kremlin to order more military drills of its troops amassed on Ukraine's border.
WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
HORLIVKA, Ukraine - Yelena Rybak sat quietly next to her husband for an hour under their carport, alone and for the last time. She touched his battered face and stroked his cold hands, as if the warmth of her fingers might still wake him. Then it was time for the young, bearded priest, who arrived with several dozen relatives, friends and sympathizers. They escorted Yelena and 42-year-old Volodymyr from the gray-brick house through a wooden fence and onto a narrow street of buckling pavement.
WORLD
April 23, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected, as noted below
DONETSK, Ukraine - Ukraine government forces on Wednesday recaptured a southeastern town that had been held by separatist rebels, the Interior Ministry said. There were no casualties in the operation in the town of Svyatogorsk, according to an statement posted on the ministry's website. The ouster of the rebels was a welcome strategic gain by the Kiev government in the troubled Donetsk region, close to Ukraine's eastern border with Russia. “The recapture of Svyatogorsk is an indication that the anti-terrorist operation, which experienced certain problems last week, is now gaining momentum,” said Dmitry Tymchuk, head of Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research.
WORLD
April 22, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
KIEV, Ukraine -- The United States will stand by Ukrainians against Russian aggression that threatens their nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity, Vice President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday during a visit to Kiev. “No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation, and we will never recognize Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea, and neither will the world,” Biden said after meeting with Ukraine's acting prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk. “No nation should threaten its neighbors by amassing troops along the border.
WORLD
April 20, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Separatists appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday to deploy Russian troops in eastern Ukraine after a shootout Easter night on the outskirts of Slovyansk left at least three people dead and four injured. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, fascists who are killing our brothers are trying to conquer our small provincial town,” Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, a separatist leader and self-proclaimed mayor of Slovyansk, said in his television appeal on Rossiya-24 news network.
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Ukrainian forces launched combat operations against pro-Russian separatists Tuesday and recaptured a military airport in the eastern part of the country, the acting president said.  Explosions and gunfire were heard from around the airport, located between the owns of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. Both towns were seized last week by armed separatists, said the UNIAN news agency.  A Ukrainian SU-24 jet flew over the airport firing at separatist positions, and troops using armored vehicles followed with a ground assault, the report said.
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- Ukraine's interim government on Tuesday made good on threats to move against pro-Russia separatists occupying eastern cities, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to demand U.N. condemnation of the use of force in the neighboring country. In a call to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Putin "emphasized that the Russian side expects the United Nations and the international community to clearly condemn the Kiev authorities' anti-constitutional military operation in Ukraine's southeast," the Itar-Tass news agency reported . Russia-backed militants who have seized government and security facilities in at least 10 towns and cities in eastern Ukraine were under fire in the city of Slavyansk, Russian news media reported, casting the operation to recover Ukrainian government control as a violent strike against civilians.
WORLD
April 8, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW - Heavily armed separatists held Ukrainian government buildings and hostages Tuesday as tensions increased sharply and threatened to push a dispute over treatment of the country's ethnic Russians into bloodshed. Ukrainian government officials said pro-Russia separatists had rigged explosives in a building in Luhansk and were holding hostages inside. Officials dispatched a deputy prime minister to another city, Donetsk, to try to negotiate a peaceful solution to the takeover of an administration building in that mining city.
WORLD
April 15, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Ukrainian forces launched combat operations against pro-Russian separatists Tuesday and recaptured a military airport in the eastern part of the country, the acting president said.  Explosions and gunfire were heard from around the airport, located between the owns of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk. Both towns were seized last week by armed separatists, said the UNIAN news agency.  A Ukrainian SU-24 jet flew over the airport firing at separatist positions, and troops using armored vehicles followed with a ground assault, the report said.
WORLD
April 14, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW -- A threatened sweep by Ukrainian armed forces to oust pro-Russia gunmen occupying government buildings in eastern Ukraine failed to materialize after local police in the besieged venues apparently refused to take part in the proclaimed "anti-terrorist operation. " Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had issued an ultimatum on Sunday that gunmen holding key government facilities in Donetsk, Luhansk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities in the volatile eastern and southern areas of Ukraine lay down their arms Monday or face ouster at gunpoint by Ukrainian troops and police.
WORLD
April 14, 2014 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams
MOSCOW - Ukrainian police sympathetic to pro-Russia separatists occupying government buildings helped thwart a threatened crackdown Monday, undermining the government's credibility and encouraging the gunmen to grab more facilities. Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement that it planned to replace 12,000 officers in the besieged east, blaming disloyal police for the failure of what it termed an anti-terrorism operation. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov had issued an ultimatum Sunday to gunmen holding government facilities in Donetsk, Luhansk, Slavyansk, Kramatorsk and other cities, telling them to lay down their arms by early Monday.
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