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Russia's Foreign Ministry: Kiev authorities violate rudely April 17 Geneva statement

May 02, 2014, 14:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

“Ukrainian army units use tanks, other heavy military hardware, helicopter gunships which are delivering missile strikes on protesters,” Russia's Foreign Ministry says

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MOSCOW, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Current Kiev authorities have violated blatantly their commitments assumed in the Geneva statement on April 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Friday.

“Current Kiev rulers who had already broken the February 21 agreement violated blatantly their commitments taken in the Geneva statement on April 17 which demands an end to any violence as the most urgent step,” the Russian diplomatic agency said.

“If someone had some doubts, this became absolutely obvious now that numerous statements of the so-called Ukrainian government on their intention to start a national dialogue to find ways out of the deepest crisis in the country are nothing but hypocrisy,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia is indignant with “the start of a punitive army operation in (east Ukraine) the city of Sloviansk involving terrorists from Right Sector and other far-right organisations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

“Ukrainian army units use tanks, other heavy military hardware, helicopter gunships which are delivering missile strikes on protesters. Information about casualties and wounded people is coming,” the foreign ministry said, noting that “Use of army against their own people is a crime and leads Ukraine to a catastrophe.

Earlier, the representative said the Ukrainian authorities were conducting a full-scale sweep operation in Sloviansk, using aircraft and landing troops against civilians. The operation “started at 5 a.m., as they (Kiev leaders) pledged”.

“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.

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