Ukraine asks for UN peacekeepers in restive east
by Peter Leonard, Associated Press
April 14, 2014 09:45 AM | 541 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Pro-Russian men storm a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka on Monday, April 14, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Pro-Russian men storm a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka on Monday, April 14, 2014. Several government buildings have fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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A pro-Russian man places a Russian flag over a police station during its mass storming in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka on Monday, April 14, 2014. The text reads: Ukrainian police station in Horlivka". Several government buildings has fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A pro-Russian man places a Russian flag over a police station during its mass storming in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka on Monday, April 14, 2014. The text reads: Ukrainian police station in Horlivka". Several government buildings has fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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Masked pro-Russian men attack British photojournalist Frederick Paxton, 2nd right, during the mass storming of a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka Monday, April 14, 2014. Several government buildings has fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. Western journalists have routinely been targeted for intimidation by crowds during the stormings. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Masked pro-Russian men attack British photojournalist Frederick Paxton, 2nd right, during the mass storming of a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka Monday, April 14, 2014. Several government buildings has fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. Western journalists have routinely been targeted for intimidation by crowds during the stormings. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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HORLIVKA, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov on Monday called for the deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the east of the country, where pro-Russian insurgents have occupied buildings in nearly 10 cities.

In a telephone conversation with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Turchynov suggested that an "anti-terrorist operation" could be conducted jointly by Ukrainian security forces and U.N. peacekeepers, according to the presidential web site.

Peacekeepers would have to be authorized by the U.N. Security Council, in which Russia holds a veto.

The request comes from a government that has proved powerless to reign in separatists in the Russian-speaking east of the country, where insurgents have been occupying government offices in cities for the past week. A deadline for the insurgents to give up weapons and vacate the brigands, set by Turchynov, passed Monday morning without any visible action.

Instead, violence continued. A pro-Russian mob stormed a police station in yet another city near the Russian border, while gun men took control over a military airport in the ear.

The Kiev government and Western officials accuse Russia of instigating the unrest and of deploying armed Russian agents to carry them out.

During the storming of a police station in the city of Horlivka earlier Monday, one man identified himself as a lieutenant colonel of the Russian army.

The events in Horlivka were the latest sign of trouble in Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions, in which pro-Russian gunmen have seized or blocked government buildings in at least nine cities demanding more autonomy from the central government and closer ties with Russia. Later in the day, armed men in masks also seized control of a military airport outside the city Slovyansk, also in the Donetsk region.

The developments came as European Union foreign ministers met in Luxembourg to consider further sanctions against Russia, and three days ahead of a scheduled conference in Geneva involving diplomats from the United States, Russia, the European Union, Ukraine and Switzerland, which is intended to seek ways of defusing tensions.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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