Yesterday six military vehicles were been seized by pro-Russian militia in Kramatorsk, raising concern that the Ukrainian military has lost control of eastern Ukraine.
The vehicles were part of the so-called “anti-terrorist” operation aimed to retain cities under the control of armed protestors and unmarked soldiers thought to be Russian.
Fears that Moscow is repeating tactics that led to the annexation of Crimea earlier in the year has further soured relationships between Russia and Ukraine.
Ukrainian and Western leaders, including US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have called on Russia to act to prevent conflict in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, has demanded Russia show it “is interested in stabilising the situation [and to]… condemn the terrorists and demand that they free the buildings”.
Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that his country holds “the main responsibility” for preventing crisis in Ukraine, whilst Obama warned Russia to stop taking “steps that are designed to destabilize Ukraine”.
A meeting between delegates from Ukraine, Russia, the US and the European Union scheduled in Geneva today will be the first meeting of these countries since the crisis in Ukraine escalated in February. It is hoped that today’s meeting in Geneva will bring greater stability to Ukraine.
The fall in Ukraine’s Ukraine’s Global Peace Index reflects deteriorating relations with neighbouring countries – specifically Russia. Ukraine’s country rating crashed 40 places last year to 111 out of a total of 162 countries. Ukraine’s 2014 ranking, which will be released in June, will slip even further away from peace seen in 2013. Since 2013, Ukraine has seen significant increases in levels of internal conflict, total conflicts, and terrorist acts.
Ukraine’s acting PM, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has declared that the country is on the “brink of disaster” as 6000 Russian troops take control of Crimea.
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