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Presidential special envoy Vladimir Lukin was sent to southeast Ukraine on presidential instructions on Thursday 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.
“In fact, while Russia is taking all efforts to de-escalate and settle current conflict, current Kiev authorities started shelling peaceful settlements from warplanes, launched a punitive operation, actually ruining the last hope for viability of the Geneva accords,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We are extremely concerned that not only presidential special envoy Lukin with whom we cannot get in touch, but also Russian journalists and media people from other countries are staying in the punitive operation zone,” Peskov said, noting that “Certainly, we demand measures to ensure their security.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is receiving all urgent information about developments in southeast Ukraine due to the start of a punitive Kiev operation with armed forces and combat aviation involved in the regions, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said adde.
“Earlier staying on Minsk (Belarusian capital) Putin named this possible operation as a criminal act,” he recalled.
“Unfortunately, current developments confirm fully this assessment,” the presidential spokesman said.
While Russia “is taking all efforts to de-escalate and settle current conflict, current Kiev authorities have started shelling peaceful settlements from warplanes, have started a punitive operation, actually ruining the last hope for viability of the Geneva accords,” Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.
“Armored vehicles are securing the assault by landing troops,” the policeman said. He said he is at a checkpoint in the city center.
Massive protests against the new Ukrainian authorities, who were propelled to power in Kiev amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February, erupted in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking southeastern regions in March after Crimea's incorporation by Russia. Demonstrators, who are demanding referendums on the country’s federalization, seized some government buildings.
The Kiev authorities have been conducting an antiterrorism operation in eastern Ukraine. Russia, which does not recognize the de facto Ukrainian leaders brought to power by the coup, has condemned the operation, apparently aimed to crack down on Ukrainian nationals supporting federalization.