Ukrainian Authorities Demand Separatists' Surrender, Russia Concerned
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov demanded of the armed separatists in eastern Ukraine to surrender immediately.
According to reports in Russian-language media, he also demanded that they release the hostages, vacate the occupied administrative buildings and terminate “riots and looting”.
“The Ukrainian authorities are ready to amnesty the participants in the civil unrest, but only those who did not commit felonies,” Avakov said. “We are ready to negotiate with the protesters and their representatives, but there will be no clemency for terrorists and armed separatists.”
Meanwhile, Russia condemned the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine and accused the Ukrainian military of using combat aviation on “peaceful settlements.”
“While Russia is taking measures to deescalate the conflict in Ukraine, the Kiev regime decided to use combat aviation on peaceful settlements, launched a punitive operation and thus killed all hope of viability of the Geneva agreement,” said the Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, quoted by ITAR-TASS.
Peskov also said that yesterday Russia's President Vladimir Putin sent to southeastern Ukraine the special envoy Vladimir Lukin. His task was to negotiate a possible release of foreign military observers captured earlier.
“After the start of a punitive operation Russia cannot get in contact with Lukin,” Peskov noted.
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