Ukraine on 'combat alert' as rebels gain ground

2014-04-30 14:42
Ukrainian troops take position next to burning tires at a pro Russian checkpoint following an attack by Ukrainian troops outside in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (File, AP)

Ukrainian troops take position next to burning tires at a pro Russian checkpoint following an attack by Ukrainian troops outside in Slovyansk, Ukraine. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kiev - Ukraine's armed forces are on "full combat alert" against a possible Russian invasion, Kiev said on Wednesday, as pro-Kremlin insurgents tightened their grip on the increasingly chaotic east of the country.

Rebels stormed the regional police building and town hall in the eastern Ukrainian city of Gorlivka, local officials said, bringing to more than a dozen the number of locations under their control.

The new seizure followed clashes in nearby Lugansk late on Tuesday, as hundreds of pro-Russia protesters spearheaded by a heavily armed mob took control of the police station after a fraught stand-off.

Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov told his cabinet said the nation's armed forces were on "full combat alert" as fears grew in Kiev that Russia could mount an armed invasion of the ex-Soviet republic.

"The threat of a Russia starting a war against mainland Ukraine is real," he said.

Western interests

Turchynov urged "Ukrainian patriots" to bolster the beleaguered police force, which he has criticised for "inaction and in some cases treachery". His priority was to prevent "terrorism" spreading in the restive east of the country, he said.

The West has accused Russia of fomenting the crisis and backing the rebels and has imposed sanctions to try to get Moscow to back down.

The US and EU members see the insurgency as a bid to destabilise Ukraine ahead of presidential elections slated for 25 May, but Moscow denies it has a hand in the rebellion.

President Vladimir Putin insisted to reporters late on Tuesday that there were "neither Russian instructors, nor special units, nor troops" operating in Ukraine.

Opening up another front in the war of words between Washington and Moscow, Putin warned that the sanctions against his country could harm Western interests in Russia's lucrative energy sector.

"If this continues, we will of course have to think about how [foreign companies] work in the Russian Federation, including in key sectors of the Russian economy such as energy," said Putin, speaking at a regional summit in Minsk.

The Russian president's comments threaten the operations of some of the world's biggest energy companies in the resource-rich country - once viewed as a reliable alternative to unstable natural gas and oil-producing countries in the Middle East.

Russian officials have accused the US of wanting to reinstitute "Iron Curtain"-style policies and warned the sanctions would "boomerang" back to hurt it.

But the tensions are already having an impact on the Russian economy, as the International Monetary Fund announced on Wednesday that the country was already "experiencing recession".
Read more on:    us  |  russia  |  ukraine  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Hermanus

Houses R 2 680 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.