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MOSCOW, April 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed concern over the military operation staged by the Kiev authorities in Ukraine’s southeastern areas on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service said on Tuesday, citing Putin’s telephone conversation with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“The crisis development of the situation in Ukraine, which sharply aggravated in connection with Kiev authorities-initiated military operation in the country’s southeast has been discussed,” the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
Putin in particular emphasized that the Russian side expects the United Nations and the international community to clearly condemn the Kiev authorities’ anti-constitutional actions. During the phone conversation, Ban noted the necessity for all sides to make efforts to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine. The UN press office quoted Ban as saying he is concerned about the instable situation in the east of Ukraine. The UN chief urged all sides to try to de-escalate tensions.
Protests against the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities, who came to power as a result of a coup in February, have erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking eastern territories, in particular, the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions, with demonstrators demanding referendums on the country’s federalization. Ukrainian parliament-appointed acting head of state Alexander Turchinov on Tuesday announced the start of an antiterrorism operation in the Donetsk Region in an apparent effort to put an end to protests of federalization supporters.