KIEV, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainia's acting president Oleksandr Turchynov on Wednesday ordered the country's armed forces to full readiness due to the "real threat of aggression" from Russia.
"There is a real threat that the Russian Federation will unleash a war on the territory of continental Ukraine. That's why our troops are in full readiness," Turchynov said during his meeting with the heads of regional administrations here.
Pro-Russia protesters have spread their movement beyond eastern Ukraine, Turchynov said, with attempts to destabilize the situation in the country's southern and southeastern regions.
To prevent further escalation of tension across Ukraine, the authorities have ordered the creation of special regional military units, he added.
Turchynov's comments came after protests spread beyond Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region on Tuesday, as activists seized control of official buildings in the neighboring Lugansk region.
Tensions continue to rise in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militants are engaged in conflicts with government troops and have detained military observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Pro-Russian demonstrators have staged protests in eastern Ukraine since early April, demanding a referendum on autonomy and closer ties with Russia.
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Lavrov, who is here to meet with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, said, "we reject any type of sanctions, especially those sanctions adopted by the United States and the European Union against all common sense, regarding events in the Ukraine." Full story
U.S. steps up consultations on Ukraine with Eastern European allies
WASHINGTON, April 29 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has stepped up consultations with Eastern European allies on the Ukraine situation amid Russia's activities along its border, a Pentagon spokesman said on Tuesday.
Hagel met with Estonian Defense Minister Sven Mikser at the Pentagon on Tuesday morning, and he will meet with Czech Defense Minister Martin Stropnicky later in the day, U.S. Defense Department's Press Secretary John Kirby said. Full story