The Ukraine clamp down has begun to clamp down on pro-Russian forces who have been taking over government buildings throughout Eastern Ukraine over the past week, even taking back an airport Monday afternoon that had been occupied by pro-Russian forces.. The operation comes as an “anti-terror” movement to remove the hold of Moscow in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government believes that Moscow has been deeply involved in attempting to stir unrest within Ukraine ever since they successfully occupied Crimea, later taking it as part of the Russian Federation. Russia has declared that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. The West is worried that Moscow has a heavy hand involved in these movements and are also worried about the number of troops on the border of Eastern Ukraine.
Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an “anti-terrorist operation” against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.
Twenty-four hours after an Ukrainian ultimatum expired for the rebels to lay down their arms, witnesses however saw no signs yet that Kiev forces were about to storm state buildings in the Russian-speaking east that armed militants have occupied.
Interim President Oleksander Turchinov insisted the operation had started in the eastern Donetsk region, although it would happen in stages and “in a considered way”.
Amidst the deepest East-West crisis since the Cold War, the leaders of Russia and the United States have called on each other to do all in their power to avoid further bloodshed.
The standoff has raised fears that Moscow might turn off gas supplies to Kiev, disrupting flows to the European Union. Russian exporter Gazprom promised it would remain a reliable supplier to the EU, but German energy company RWE began deliveries to Ukraine on Tuesday – reversing the usual east-west flow in one central European pipeline.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave a gloomy assessment after at least two people died on Sunday when Kiev unsuccessfully tried to regain control in the town of Slaviansk, about 150 km (90 miles) from the Russian border.
“Blood has once again been spilt in Ukraine. The country is on the brink of civil war,” he said on his Facebook page.
Turchinov said the offensive, which he first announced on Sunday, was finally underway. “The anti-terrorist operation began during the night in the north of Donetsk region. But it will take place in stages, responsibly, in a considered way. I once again stress: the aim of these operations is to defend the citizens of Ukraine,” he told parliament.