Russia blames Ukraine for renewed violence

2015-01-26 14:16
A pro-Russian rebel patrols positions at a check-point captured by pro-Russian rebels, at the town of Krasniy Partizan in eastern Ukraine. (Mstyslav Chernov, AP)

A pro-Russian rebel patrols positions at a check-point captured by pro-Russian rebels, at the town of Krasniy Partizan in eastern Ukraine. (Mstyslav Chernov, AP)

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Moscow - Russia blamed Kiev on Monday for a surge in violence in south-eastern Ukraine and urged the West not to show its support with actions such as imposing new sanctions on Moscow.

Pro-Moscow separatists, backed by what Nato says is the open participation of Russian troops, have launched an offensive in eastern and south-eastern Ukraine and Kiev said on Saturday 30 civilians had been killed in shelling of the city of Mariupol.

Russia has denied sending arms and troops to back the rebels and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the separatists were responding to attacks by Ukrainian government forces.

"We see attempts to derail the peace process and attempts again and again by the Kiev leadership to solve the problem by using force to suppress the south-east. These attempts lead nowhere," Lavrov told a news conference.

"We expect our Western partners... not to do anything that gives the Kiev authorities the impression that all their actions automatically will win support in the West."

He urged the West not to whip up anti-Russia hysteria and said it would have been naive to believe the separatists would accept being shelled by government forces without responding.

He said the rebels had started actions to "eliminate the positions from which the Ukrainian armed forces had shelled populated areas with heavy weapons".

Read more on:    russia  |  ukraine  |  war

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