A convoy of Ukrainian soldiers and armored personnel carriers leave the city of Donetsk heading east. (Source: CNN)
(RNN/CNN) – Ukraine's acting president, Olexander Turchynov, said the threatened clamp-down on pro-Russia militants in the eastern part of the country is under way, now that a government deadline has passed for separatists to lay down their arms.
Turchynov had warned protestors to disarm or they would face a full-scale anti-terrorist operation by the Ukrainian military.
Officials in Kiev say a Ukrainian National Guard battalion of 350 troops was sent to the Donetsk region Tuesday. A Ukrainian general says separatists who don't lay down their arms "will be destroyed."
Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.N., Yuriy Sergeyev, said his government will not allow what happened in Crimea in March to also occur in eastern Ukraine and that the actions by the Russian Federation poses a serious threat to Ukraine and international peace and stability.
"We call upon Russian partners again to stop immediately actions aimed at undermining sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine," Sergeyev said. "We demand to leave us in peace."
The crisis in Ukraine has been escalating recently as pro-Russian separatists took over multiple buildings in at least 10 east Ukrainian towns.
Over the weekend, one person was killed and several others were wounded in clashes between pro-Ukrainian crowds and pro-Russian separatists.
Samantha Powers, the U.S. Ambassador the U.N., is accusing Russia of spreading disinformation and inciting instability in Ukraine.
"This instability was written and choreographed in and by Russia," Powers said.
NATO Secretary General, Anders Rasmussen, has called on Russia to stop destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and pull back its troops from the country.
"Russia should stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution," Rasmussen said.
On Monday, President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Ukrainian crisis, urging Putin to withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine's border and use his influence to push pro-Russian groups to end their standoff.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Ukrainian military forces clashed with about 30 armed gunmen at a small airport near Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. This is the first military action taken against pro-Russian militants.
Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network and CNN. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:21 AM EDT2014-09-02 13:21:44 GMT
A Russian official is complaining that EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso breached confidentiality when he quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying Moscow could take over Kiev in two weeks if it wished.More >>
Russian military forces have been spotted in both major rebel-held cities in eastern Ukraine, an official said Tuesday, prompting Ukraine to declare that it now has to fight the Russian army, not just the separatists.More >>
Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:11 AM EDT2014-09-02 08:11:43 GMT
President Barack Obama is traveling to Russia's backyard for the second time this year to assure nervous nations of his ironclad commitment to their security.More >>
For the second time this year, President Barack Obama will travel to Russia's backyard to assure nervous nations of his ironclad commitment to their security. But his objectives will be clouded by the West's...More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-09-02 03:01:11 GMT
With a new round of talks on easing the crisis in Ukraine about to start, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called on the participants to push for a cease-fire between Ukrainian government troops and...More >>
Pro-Russian rebels softened their demand for full independence Monday, saying they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy - a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new...More >>