Moscow ratchets up pressure on Kyiv, claiming that Russian-leaning eastern regions have plunged into lawlessness.
KYIV, UKRAINE—Ukraine’s foreign minister said Monday that his country was practically in a state of war with Russia, as Moscow further ratcheted up pressure on Kyiv, claiming that Russian-leaning eastern regions have plunged into lawlessness.
Russian forces have effectively taken control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in what has turned into Europe’s greatest geopolitical crisis since the end of the Cold War. On Sunday the region is to hold a referendum on whether to split off and become part of Russia, which the West says it will not recognize.
“We have to admit that our life now is almost like . . . a war,” Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsya said before meeting his counterparts from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. “We have to cope with an aggression that we do not understand.”
Deshchytsya said Ukraine is counting on help from the West. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Wednesday.
On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said lawlessness “now rules in eastern regions of Ukraine as a result of the actions of fighters of the so-called ‘Right Sector,’ with the full connivance” of Ukraine’s new authorities.
Right Sector is a grouping of several far-right and nationalist factions whose activists were among the most radical and confrontational of the three-month-long demonstrations in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, which eventually ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
Full article: Ukraine in near state of war, foreign minister says (The Star)