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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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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
vietnamvet1967 April 16 2014 at 7:38 AM

That is good, Tell Obama to send More MRE's, so they can eat
Pretty sad, when This country announces that there will be NO MILITARY AID to the world for them , Putin is Laughing and thinking what fools we are
Keep your Mouth shut, this country tells the enemy what we are going to do
DO IT and Tell Later

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1 reply
s48man vietnamvet1967 April 16 2014 at 8:01 AM

Why do we have to monitor the world its getting old time to take care of good old America

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1 reply
munchenag s48man April 16 2014 at 8:07 AM

With all the manufacturing in China? It is 2014.

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delicious joey April 15 2014 at 11:59 PM

a lot of these comments are funny.some guy calls for a full lottery draft to restart and another guy says lets have a thermonuclear response.tell me what good you think a million or so new troops would do against 30 kiliton battlefield artillary shells.you probably did not think that out real well considering those 30 kiliton shells will be coming from russian field pieces.wars at superpower level wont be fought with men,they will be fought with computers guiding nuclear weapons to cities and population centers.anyone who thinks america can win a nuclear exchange is a complete jackass.its lights out for everyone,them,us,and every other living thing that gets rained on when the atmosphere is glowing.

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1 reply
mdziolko delicious joey April 16 2014 at 12:53 AM

the world is going to hell anyway so let em fly

Flag Reply 0 rate up
passap13 April 16 2014 at 7:49 AM

Why can't the world get along???

Flag Reply +1 rate up
3 replies
Xpd2 April 15 2014 at 3:00 PM

David and Goliath drama should come out good for David.

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danelussier April 15 2014 at 7:53 PM

Go get 'em!

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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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leearlenewiljr April 15 2014 at 7:57 PM

And so starts what's known as gorilla-warfare. Let's see that "they" say 5 years from now. Of course it will be a different "they", the one's talking now will be dead.

Wouldn't be easier to negotiate a deal.

God, people are stubborn!

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1 reply
worldcommenter leearlenewiljr April 15 2014 at 8:21 PM

You cannot negotiate with someone that want "all the marbles". The "deal" with Putin is give me back Ukraine, Poland, the Baltic Republics, Slovalia, Czech Republic, Hungaria and Romaina. That does not sound like much of a "deal". It would be interesting to see what Putin's response would be if Russia was asked to join NATO? NATO is a mutual defense organization, so Russia should feel more comfortable and not threatened if all the other NATO members are ready to come to Russia's aid if it is attacked by someone.

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1 reply
yako3185 worldcommenter April 15 2014 at 8:43 PM

But who the hell would attack Russia except NATO????
You exemplify the typical moron that falls for the propaganda; you must have swallowed hook, bait and sinker.

Flag +1 rate up
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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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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