KIEV, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema said Wednesday his country had resumed an "anti-terror" operation against pro-Russian activities in the embattled eastern regions.
"The active phase of the operation is underway," Yarema told reporters during a briefing.
The government's move came after pro-Russian activists earlier this week allegedly kidnapped and tortured several journalists and public figures in the eastern Donetsk region.
Pro-government politician Volodymyr Rybak was found dead in a river near the town of Slovyansk, where pro-Russia protesters seized several government buildings.
Local media also reported a group of unidentified gunmen fired shots Tuesday at Ukrainian military aircraft over Slavyansk.
Ukraine suspended its "counter-terror" measures last week following an agreement with Russia, the U.S. and the European Union in Geneva, which calls for all sides of the conflict to refrain from violence.
A new wave of unrest erupted in Ukraine's east early April, when pro-Moscow activists seized government buildings in the cities of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.
Ukraine continues to accuse Russia of supporting the unrest, but Moscow has denied the accusations.
Ukraine formally requests critical IMF funding
KIEV, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian government had formally asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said here Wednesday.
"We hope to receive the IMF's response by the end of the current month," Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting. Full story
Russia sees war with Ukraine as unlikely
MOSCOW, April 22 (Xinhua) -- War between Russia and Ukraine was unlikely, a senior Russian defense official said Tuesday.
"I don't believe the Russians and Ukrainians will fight each other," Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. Full story
Russian PM says economy can withstand Western sanctions
MOSCOW, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Western sanctions imposed on Russia over the Ukraine crisis would have only a marginal effect the country's economy and citizens, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday.
"We are able to minimize their consequences," Medvedev told the parliament's lower house, the State Duma, in his annual address. Full story
Kerry urges Russia to help implement Ukraine deal
WASHINGTON, April 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Russia to "take concrete steps" to help implement the agreement aimed at defusing tensions in Ukraine.
In his telephone talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Kerry urged Russia to publicly call on "separatists to vacate illegal buildings and checkpoints, accept amnesty, and address their grievances politically," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said at a press briefing. Full story
Russian FM says impossible to isolate Moscow
MOSCOW, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday any attempt to isolate Russia was bound to fail and he urged European Union countries to make responsible and independent decisions on sanctions.
"Isolation has never led anyone to anything," Lavrov told reporters after talks with Mozambican counterpart Oldemiro Baloi. Full story