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2 dead and several injured in Kiev shootout

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) - Two people were killed and several others wounded, including a policeman, in a shootout at the building of a far-right Ukrainian nationalist group, highlighting the tensions in the eastern part of the country that have erupted in Ukraine's political turmoil.

Details of the Friday night shooting in the city of Kharkiv were murky, but local news reports said it broke out after a skirmish between pro-Russia demonstrators and their opponents.

Violence has escalated in Ukraine's Russia-leaning east in recent days, as pro-Russia demonstrators have seized government buildings and clashed with supporters of the new Kiev government. At least one person died and 17 were wounded in clashes in the city of Donetsk on Thursday.

Tensions are also high in another region, the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, where a referendum is to be held Sunday on whether to split off from Ukraine and seek annexation by Russia. The peninsula, where Russia leases a massive base for its Black Sea Fleet, has been effectively under control of Russian forces since last month after troops blocked off Ukrainian military bases.

Kharkiv, near the Russian border, is a hotbed of pro-Russia sentiment and opposition to the acting Ukrainian government that took power last month after Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country in the wake of months of protests.

After the skirmish, according to the reports, there was gunfire outside a building housing the offices of several nationalist groups including Right Sector, which was one of the drivers of the protests against Yanukovych and that vehemently opposes Russian influence in Ukraine.

Russia has denounced Right Sector and similar groups as "fascists" who allegedly want to oppress ethnic Russians in Ukraine.

A spokesman for Right Sector in eastern Ukraine, Igor Moseichuk, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying the shooting was a "planned provocation by pro-Russian forces."

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page that two people were killed and several wounded, including a policeman who was seriously injured. He said some 30 people "from both sides" had been detained.

The victims' identities were not immediately made public. Moseichuk was quoted as saying the two killed were not among those inside the Right Sector offices.

The Ukrainian region of Crimea, where ethnic Russians are a majority, is effectively under Russian control after troops entered following Yanukovych's departure.

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ramonbatt March 15 2014 at 9:49 AM

You can count on troops moving to Kiev. I am sure Kerry will tell Putin Germany will place sections if they try to move to Frankfurt next? Lol,

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1 reply
bobbar3474 ramonbatt March 15 2014 at 10:06 AM

Suggestion...Why don't you learn to spell and properly construct a sentence before posting and looking like an idiot. The word is sanctions.

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jle615 March 15 2014 at 10:36 AM

"wait until the election is over, then I'll have more flexibility"?

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Robert & Lisa March 15 2014 at 10:37 AM

Our people have learned to deceive and be deceived. What happened to "Know the truth and the truth will set you free." Hillary Clinton has never done a good job at anything and now she is the most popular candidate for President? God help us all.

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1 reply
holmes49 Robert & Lisa March 15 2014 at 10:44 AM

that's why the truth has to be told---why do you think the lefties hate Fox News---the lefty socialists hate the truth !!!!

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YourFtr March 15 2014 at 8:18 PM

IF nothng else; one has to admire the bravery of the P-Riot members for demonstrating on
the stage of the pro-peace demonstration in Moscow.
Just released from the Gulag; they got whipped and knocked down by the Cossacks in Sochi; now they are demonstrating again in Moscow.
Soon Putin will re-arrest and re-sentence them and then disappear them into the Gulag.

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1 reply
penn1023 YourFtr March 15 2014 at 9:10 PM

***** Riot are ridiculous.

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jktejas March 15 2014 at 10:38 AM

Russia has never and will never allow any government to jeopardize its occupation and/or control of its warm water port in Sebastopol on the Black Sea......a port of major importance to its commercial shipping and navel defense. Further to this, there is strong indication that the Crimea is rich in oil and gas deposits. And while it is politically incorrect to bring another matter into the picture.....all the Muslim Tartars that Stalin expelled from Russia, particularly the Crimea have been flooding back into the region and now are about 24% of the population......and they absolutely hate Russia.....and, no, not all Muslims are terrorists, but the community harbors operatives (much like it does here) It's a mixed bag.....their position in Sebastopol is understandable (we've done similar) their grasp of oil and gas in the Crimea will primarily benefit those in power (greed factor) and their concern for the growing militants is understandable, though the proclaimed concern for the ethnic Russians, who are in the majority, would not outweigh the focus on the mineral riches in the Crimea. The bottom line is that no sanctions in the world are going to outweigh Putin's intent. All they have to do is ride it out.....and as they take more lethal action against a rising terrorists movement, the West will applaud.

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1 reply
cricketfamily jktejas March 15 2014 at 11:30 AM

You have hit the nail on the head. If positions were reversed the US would do the same thing. The US have done it for less. We invaded Granada once, a little island 100 miles off of Venezuela out of stated concerns of building an airport large enough to have military implications. For Russia national security concerns if Ukraine goes west including losing strategic naval bases and seaports, oil pipelines from Russia to Europe that go through Ukraine (Russia's economy is based on oil) and the Ukraine becoming a direct competitor to Russia in oil, let alone having the west on their borders if Ukraine went the way they had planned is something Russia can not tolerate. It is just the truth.

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ronbobel7 March 15 2014 at 12:29 PM

is putin getting ready for an invasion of eastern ukraine?

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1 reply
mrd1776 ronbobel7 March 15 2014 at 12:38 PM

Probably not. Those look like defensive forces. Invasion requires more substantial invasion forces. Of course, if the Fascists now running Ukraine try something really stupid, Putin's objectives may change a great deal.

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hewiedy98 March 15 2014 at 12:06 PM

He hides on Syria Iran and Venevuela where we might bw effective and wants to start a economic cold war over an area we have no way of affecting. Looks like Jimmy Carter II

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racquetchamp March 15 2014 at 4:12 PM

I'm an American who has lived in Ukraine for a year now and I have never seen a Ukraine person try to hurt or make a Russian speaking person fear. This is B.S. Ukraine is full of hard working friendly people. B.S Russia you lie.

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bwfree3 March 15 2014 at 8:10 PM

why bother putting sanctions. they will just start sending their people here with the rest of the russians

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frozenbull March 15 2014 at 7:05 PM

Putin's just waiting for the right moment to pull the trigger . It's coming ,though . You can bet on it .

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1 reply
user349842 frozenbull March 15 2014 at 8:02 PM

I think you're right!

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