Forty-two people are dead after rioting and fires in Ukraine marked the bloodiest days since the unrest began in February.
Ukrainian armed forces clashed with rebels in Slavyansk and Donetsk Friday. And in the southern port city of Odessa, a fire linked to the clashes killed dozens of pro-Russian protesters trapped inside. (Via YouTube / 9plus0media)
On Saturday, the Ukrainian military continued its push on rebel strongholds in the east, recapturing media and government buildings. Local authorities said six died in the fighting. (Via ITV)
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has promised an investigation into the security services in Odessa following the violence there, but blames Russia for Ukraine’s deteriorating situation.
“Due to Russian aggression and due to Russian protesters — they facilitated the real war … to eliminate Ukrainian independence.” (Via BBC)
Russia, meanwhile, hasn’t moved its massed troops on Ukraine’s eastern border. It condemns the government in Kiev — and its western allies — for the bloodshed. (Via CBC)
“Russia has called on the U.S. to use its influence to halt the military operations, while Washington again said Moscow should stop backing pro-Russian separatists.” (Via Euronews)
As offensives continue in the east, the rhetoric from officials in Kiev has turned more serious. The Telegraph quotes the head of Ukraine's "anti-terrorist" command calling the unrest "not just some kind of short-lived uprising – it is in fact a war." (Via The Telegraph)