The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

April 22, 2014

Biden conferring with Ukranian leader over what to do

KIEV, Ukraine —

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on Monday for talks with Ukraine’s embattled interim leaders as Russia’s top diplomat blamed Washington for instigating the crisis that threatens to escalate into armed conflict between the two former Soviet republics.
In eastern Ukraine, armed militants defying a disarmament plan endorsed by Russia last week stepped up their seizure of government buildings and security facilities.
In the town of Kramatorsk, in the north of the Donetsk region, separatists broke into a police station and kidnapped the police chief, local online publication Kramatorsk.info reported.
In Luhansk, capital in the neighboring region of the same name, young separatists in masks and armed with sticks and baseball bats attacked a rally in support of Ukrainian unity, shouting “fascists” and “traitors,” independent Channel 5 reported. Militants continue to hold the Ukraine Security Service headquarters in Luhansk and have captured hundreds of firearms, UNIAN news agency reported.
And in Slovyansk, scene of an Easter Sunday shootout that left at least three dead, gunmen took over the area and barricaded its key intersections and commercial sites, reporter Denis Kazansky of the regional online publication Ostrov said.
“Armed men in masks roam the streets, barricaded at intersections, banks and jewelry stores closed after the first robbery last week, the municipal services are on the brink of collapse,” Kazansky told the Los Angeles Times in a phone interview. “Russian commandos are allegedly hiding inside the local police station and running this growing chaos from there, turning the town into a fortress of lawlessness in the middle of Ukraine.”
Biden began his two-day trip to Kiev in what the White House described as an attempt to show support for the interim government as it struggles to prevent further loss of Ukrainian territory to the Russian-speaking militants.

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