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Acting Ukrainian president orders special operation in the east resumed

April 23, 2014, 1:26 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, April 22 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian parliament-appointed acting president, Verkhovna Rada speaker Alexander Turchinov on Tuesday called on the country’s law enforcement agencies to resume a special operation in Ukraine’s east, the Rada reported.

“I demand that the law enforcement structures resume and take effective antiterrorism measures aimed to protect Ukrainian citizens who reside in Ukraine’s east from terrorists,” Turchinov said.

Earlier Tuesday, Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko said the operation will be resumed.

“The operation was not terminated, its active part was suspended for the holidays, but the operation continues,” Ostapenko said, adding that the key task now is to “ensure the security perimeter for this not to spread to Ukraine’s neighboring regions”.

Ukraine saw a coup in February, which brought new people to power amid deadly riots. Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities. It held a referendum in which it decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. A relevant deal was signed March 18.

Moscow does not recognize the de facto Kiev authorities either.

After Crimea’s incorporation by Russia, which Kiev does not accept despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum was in conformity with the international law, protests against the new Ukrainian leaders have erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions, with demonstrators, who are demanding a referendum on the country’s federalization, seizing some government buildings.

Turchinov announced the start of the antiterrorism operation in the Donetsk Region, apparently designed to clamp down on federalization supporters, on April 15.

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