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Ukraine fights back against insurgents who have seized control of numerous buildings in the east of the country



KRAMATORSK, Ukraine (AP) -- In the first Ukrainian military action against a pro-Russian uprising in the east, special forces on Tuesday recaptured a small airport that had been occupied by militiamen, the government said.

Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, had earlier announced an "anti-terrorist operation" against the insurgents who have seized control of numerous buildings in the east of the country.

Heavy gunfire rang out at the airport near the town Kramatorsk. Russian state television reported four to 11 people had been killed, but there was no independent confirmation of any casualties. Much of the shooting appeared to have been warning shots into the air.

Kramatorsk is just south of the city of Slovyansk, 160 kilometers (100 miles) from the Russian border, which has come under the increasing control of the gunmen who seized it last weekend.

Earlier in the day, an Associated Press reporter saw at least 14 armored personnel carriers with Ukrainian flags, helicopters and military trucks parked 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of the city. Other heavy military equipment appeared nearby, along with at least seven busloads of government troops in black military fatigues.

"We are awaiting the order to move on Slovyansk," said one soldier, who gave only his first name, Taras.

Two of the helicopters loaded with troops were later seen taking off and flying toward Slovyansk. Witnesses said helicopters delivered several dozen troops to the Kramatorsk airfield.

The armed pro-Russian militias are occupying government, police and other administrative buildings in at least nine cities in the Russian-speaking east of the country around the major industrial city of Donetsk. They are demanding broader autonomy and closer ties with Russia.

The central government has so far been unable to rein in the insurgents, and many local security forces have switched to their side.

Speaking to parliament in Kiev, the capital, Turchynov announced late Tuesday that the Kramatorsk airport had been secured.

"I'm convinced that there will not be any terrorists left soon in Donetsk and other regions and they will find themselves in the dock - this is where they belong," Turchynov said.

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trperator April 15 2014 at 2:34 PM

Well its about time!

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rocher54 April 15 2014 at 4:00 PM

The Ukrainian Army "recapture" an undefended piece of air strip. They're still away from the buildings where the rebels are controlling the centers of power.

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John April 15 2014 at 7:50 PM

There is no Ukraine government. This is West Ukraine moving against East Ukraine: Civil War.
The Ukraine is really now two nations in one state, now largely demolished with a revolutionary government in power after the violent overthrow of a repressive but democratically elected government. West Ukraine has old ties with Poland, Germany and Austria. (Go online to see for yourself how closely Klitschko is tied to the German Embassy in Kiev and to Germany itself.) East Ukraine is tied to Russia.) The overthrown democratically elected government fell after it chose to link economically with Russia rather than with the European Union. West Ukraine rose against this decision and well-organized elements on the right used violence to oust the government. Problem is that their revolutionary success created an impossible situation: governmental order was destroyed and a revolutionary government opposed to East Ukraine interests held illegal power. To worsen matters, the revolutionaries immediately tried to decertify Russian as a second national language. Thus the revolution solidified barriers between East and West Ukraine, with no remedy in sight. Western Europeans are usually very conscious of their history. In this context, why did the European Union not realize that their economic overtures could create a dangerous situation because of Ukraine’s natural divisions? It would be interesting to know more about from whence in the European Union came the impetus for the decision to seek primary outside economic influence in the Ukraine.

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4 replies
Bob Wagner April 16 2014 at 7:30 AM

Give it a little time and it may turn into another Syria

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1 reply
631207948 Bob Wagner April 16 2014 at 7:33 AM

It's already another Syria thanks to the fascist pigs running America.

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3 replies
Alex April 15 2014 at 2:52 PM

We have to remember the word of the great Winston Churchill whom was quoted as saying,"The people of the United States cannot escape world responsibility." and "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else." We are a nation that stand for a free world no matter how corrupt the United States maybe, I don't think you will feel safer living in any other country. We have a responsibility to help other countries that can not help themselves. If we never stepped in to help South Korea with the Korean war, the whole country might have turned in to the DPRK. We have to provide some sort of influence to show other nations that we are willing to help fight against communist rule or people who think its ok to conquer other countries. If people feel we should stay out of other countries business, then why dont you move to a war torn country and feel better that no other country will help you and your fellow citizens achieve freedom.

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2 replies
Kat4Hat Alex April 15 2014 at 2:59 PM

Nice retoric, how about other countires we "helped" - Lybia, Egipt, Ugoslavia, Grenada, etc.?

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2 replies
frank Kat4Hat April 15 2014 at 3:15 PM

Your right, I say we keep our focus on our people and this spelling epidemic that plagues our nation!!!!

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ICWhite02 Kat4Hat April 15 2014 at 3:16 PM

Don't be so short-sighted. we helped those countries achieve freedom from DICTATORS so they could have FREE ELECTIONS to appoint their own leaders with Democratic elections, what they DID with that freedom is on them.

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Gregg Alex April 15 2014 at 3:00 PM

You don't know which side is right. They both claim they want freedom. There are two sides to every issue don't forget.

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corpcmmn April 15 2014 at 2:53 PM

our goverment needs to take care of our country first we are suposed to be number 1

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1 reply
T. corpcmmn April 15 2014 at 4:47 PM

But we are number one, the USA is the best country on the planet, if you dont think so then you need to educate and familiarize yourself with the reality for those who live in other countries, however, I can understand why you feel that the American people arent being placed as first, because, unfortunately, we arent being put first anymore, we arent the priority, this is blatant with the obstructionists which comprise the majority in congress.
Look what happens when we try to take care of our own people..healthcare was put in place to help millions of middle class, young adults and the working poor, congress is doing everything they can to terminate it, and ALWAYS, with nothing to offer in its place.
Social Security/medicare/medicaid are all programs that help taxpaying American citizens, I paid and continue to pay into those programs with deductions from every one of my paychecks, I have contributed and continue to contribute, yet they too, are being threatened by congress, of being dismantled, when NOTHING has to be terminated, or cut or privatized... but congress prefers to continue allowing billionaires tax cuts, subsidies that are no longer needed, loop holes (some cases no tax) rather then help this country and the 99% of us who arent protected under Norquists Pledge.
School lunches for children who go to sleep with hunger pains, right here in this country have been stomped on, hello? Arent they American? Millions of people, and 300,000 of our vets, have had food assistance terminated.. meals on wheels were terminated something that helped the elderly, those with no one, nothing, those who are home bound, yet congress has denied them the nourishment, these are Americans... how can this country be number one when congress doesnt want anything but their cronies to be number 1? Number one of what? Dictators, theocracy, oligarchy. plutocracy, hypocrisy, whatever you want to call it, thats whats number 1 for them.
The USA isnt doing anything about Ukraine because Ukraine is NOT a member of NATO..other then sanctions, we cant do much more. The Sec. of state said over a week ago that this is Ukraines not ours.

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Rich April 15 2014 at 3:45 PM

Putin knows well that Buckwheats threats of a "Red Line" are just more of his false bravado . He's so used to hearing his own BS he just dosn't realize others don't pay attention to him. I'm really worried about 3 more years with this moron in the Whitehouse.

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3 replies
pflannigan April 15 2014 at 3:30 PM

Punnster..do you have any clue other than republican rhetoric...? Woodrow Wilson, Democratic President during WWI, Franklin Roosevelt, Democratic President during WWI, James Madison, President during War of 1812 (both Democrat and Republican), Harry Truman, Democrat President during the Korean War...not really thinking America was left with the dirty end of the stick during those wars. Oh, and of course, George Bush, Republican who started two wars, and lied about the Iraq War. Wow...democrats really suck at foreign affairs don't they.

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1 reply
big dog pflannigan April 15 2014 at 3:51 PM

????????

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dorc792 April 15 2014 at 2:58 PM

am waiting for obama to say us will help ukraine in a police action...remember korea??

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1 reply
frank dorc792 April 15 2014 at 3:04 PM

Actually no, I'm only 43

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rocher54 April 16 2014 at 7:33 AM

Once in a Blood Moon...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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