Ukraine to Launch 'Full-scale Anti-terrorist' Operation
    2014-04-14 07:11:51         Web Editor: Mao

Related: UN Security Council to Meet on Ukraine Sunday Night

Ukraine's interim president says its army will launch a "full-scale" offensive against pro-Russian protesters in the country's east.

The comment comes after two people were killed during a gun battle between protesters and security forces over the weekend.

CRI's Cao Yuwei has more.


In a televised national address, interim president Oleksander Turchinov stated that he will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in Ukraine's eastern regions.

"We did everything to avoid human victims but we are ready to give an answer to all attempts at invasion, destabilisation and armed terrorist actions. The National Security and Defence Council has decided to launch a full-scale anti-terrorist operation involving the armed forces of Ukraine. We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of the country."

He has also offered not to prosecute any militants who give up their weapons by early Monday.

A new wave of unrest erupted in the country's east over the weekend, after Pro-Russian activists seized several government buildings in a dozen cities.

Activists in three cities including Donetsk are demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

"I grew up in this town. It's our land. What's happening? We will decide our own fate and that of these lands. We're all together, we're all Russians."

Other locals say Ukriane's bad economic situation is contributing to the regional instability.

"My son is there now, on the barricades. No one asked him to go there. They collectively made a decision themselves. Salaries went down, diesel, gasoline, medicine, food got more expensive and people are not happy."

Eastern Ukraine has a large Russian-speaking population. Cities such as Donetsk have a large number of coal mines that depend on imports of Russian gas which has been heavily subsidized.

The UN Security Council is set to meet behind closed doors today to talk about rising tension in Ukraine.

NATO has urged Russia to de-escalate the crisis and pull back its troops from Ukraine's border.

The U.S. has said the seizure of the government buildings in eastern Ukraine had signs of Moscow's involvement.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry has called for an end to the use of the military against Ukrainian people and the start of a national dialogue for constitutional reform in the country.

Russia has long called for the federalization of Ukraine.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimean leaders signed a treaty to make the peninsula part of the Russian territory, following a referendum to split from Ukraine.

Kiev has rejected the referendum and Crimea's integration with Russia, calling it unconstitutional.

For CRI, I'm Cao Yuwei.


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The Beijing Hour updated 20:00 2014/05/23

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