Tuesday 4 August 2015

Putin urges Obama to convince Ukraine goverment not to use force against pro-Russian protestors

Published 14/04/2014 | 22:30

Pro-Russian men gather around a fire at a barricade near the police headquarters in Slaviansk. Photo: Reuters
Pro-Russian men gather around a fire at a barricade near the police headquarters in Slaviansk. Photo: Reuters
A pro-Russian armed man stands guard as pro-Russian supporters gather outside the mayor's office in Slaviansk. Reuters
The head of the local police station Herman Pristupa, brandishes firearms at the entrance to a police headquarters stormed by pro-Russian activists in Horlivka, Ukraine. Photo: AP
The statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin is seen in front of the mayor's office, alongside the flags of Russia (bottom) and Donetsk region on the rooftop, in Slaviansk. Photo: Reuters
Pro-Russian armed men stand guard as pro-Russian supporters gather outside the mayor's office in Slaviansk. Reuters
A pro-Russian man places a Russian flag over a police station during its mass storming in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka. The text reads: "Ukrainian police station in Horlivka". Several government buildings has fallen to mobs of Moscow loyalists in recent days as unrest spreads across the east of the country. Photo: AP
A boy shakes hands with a pro-Russian armed man outside the mayor's office in Slaviansk. Photo: Reuters
Pro-Russian armed men walk near the mayor's office in Slaviansk. Towns in eastern Ukraine on Monday braced for military action from government forces as a deadline passed for pro-Russian separatists to disarm and end their occupation of state buildings or face a major "anti-terrorist" operation. Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin has urged US president Barack Obama to discourage the Ukrainian government from using force against protesters in the country's east.

The Kremlin said in a statement following today's conversation that the Russian leader rejected the claims of Russian agents' involvement in protests as "speculations based on unreliable information".

Mr Putin said the protests vented public anger about the Ukrainian government's reluctance to recognise the interests of Russian speakers in the east.

More than a dozen government offices and police stations have been seized by mobs. The Ukrainian government and the West have accused Russia of staging the protests.

The Ukrainian authorities have pledged to dislodge protesters.

The Kremlin said Mr Putin urged Mr Obama to use American influence in Ukraine to prevent the use of force and bloodshed.

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