Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ukrainian government vows more military action against separatists

Fredrick Kunkle, Michael Birnbaum and Abigail Hauslohner
Washington Post
May 28, 2014

DONETSK, Ukraine — The Ukrainian government vowed to push ahead Wednesday with military operations against pro-Russian separatists in the embattled east of the country after a big show of strength routing rebels from this city’s international airport.

Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president-elect, said the “anti-terrorist operation” against the rebels, whom he has likened to Somali pirates, “has finally really begun.” In an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper, Poroshenko, 48, said he was in close contact with the Ukrainian interim government in Kiev.

Ukraine’s military on Tuesday used Soviet-era fighter jets and attack helicopters to pound rebels and retake Donetsk’s Sergei Prokofiev International Airport. The rebels, who said they suffered a heavy loss of life in the two-day operation, had seized the airport, the nation’s second-largest, in this eastern city on Monday, a day after Ukraine’s presidential and mayoral elections.

Poroshenko, one of Ukraine’s richest tycoons, convincingly won the May 25 presidential election in the first round. He said after his victory that he wants to pursue talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, although he accused Russia of instigating the violence in the east.

Full article here