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Moscow eyeing 'full-blown intervention' in east & south, says Ukraine envoy

Published on Mar 20, 2014 8:23 PM
 
People stand under a Russian flag in front of the Crimean parliament bearing a new sign reading State council of Crimean Republic in central Simferopol on Thursday, March 20, 2014. Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva warned on Thursday there were signs that Moscow was preparing to launch a large-scale assault in southern and eastern parts of his crisis-hit country. -- PHOTO: AFP

GENEVA (AFP) - Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva warned on Thursday there were signs that Moscow was preparing to launch a large-scale assault in southern and eastern parts of his crisis-hit country.

"There are indications that Russia is braced to unleash a full-blown intervention on Ukraine's east and south," Mr Yurii Klymenko told reporters.

The march by Russian troops and pro-Kremlin militias across Crimea, a mostly Russian-speaking peninsula roughly the size of Belgium, has been unhalting since President Vladimir Putin received his parliament's blessing to use force against the ex-Soviet neighbour following the February 22 fall there of a Moscow-backed regime.

Following Russia's annexation of Crimea, Kiev's new leaders and their Western allies now fear that Mr Putin has set his sights on the Russified southeastern swathes of Ukraine as part of his self-declared campaign to "protect" compatriots there.

 
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