It's the latest sign that any chances of resolving the crisis in Ukraine anytime soon are slim. Kiev has re-launched its so-called anti-terrorism operations in the country's Russian speaking east.
To bring you up to speed, this is the government's second attempt to retake Eastern Ukrainian towns in the hands of pro-Russian militia. (Via Voice of America)
Ukraine pledged an Easter Truce over the weekend that quickly went out the window following a deadly shootout at a pro-Russian checkpoint in Slavyansk. (Via The Interpreter)
As justification for its latest military operation, Ukraine is now pointing to the murder of Vladimir Rybak — a Ukrainian politician whose body was found brutally tortured in a river Tuesday. (Via Mashable)
This video appeared to show him getting mobbed by a pro-Russian crowd just hours before he disappeared. (Via YouTube / Gorlovka UA)
The news of his death came not long after Vice President Joe Biden ended his two-day visit to Kiev. Biden warned the Kremlin the U.S. would impose more sanctions if Russia does not deescalate tensions in the region. (Via Euronews)
Moscow pretty much shrugged off that threat. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead charged the U.S. was “running the show” in Ukraine.
But the West says just the opposite — accusing Russia of fueling the unrest. It points to these photos published in The New York Times reportedly linking Russian special forces to the pro-Russian protesters in Ukraine. (Via The New York Times)
Ukraine's intelligence chief told the Atlantic Council Russia has spent years building a covert network in eastern Ukraine.
“They are very dangerous, well armed. For years they were prepared to do what they are doing now.” (Via The Atlantic Council)
Russia denies the charges, and says the 40,000 troops massed along Ukraine's eastern border are there only for military exercises. (Via CBS)
The U.S., while not committing to send weapons or other lethal aid to help of Ukraine, is deploying a total of 600 troops already stationed in Europe for training exercises in Poland and three other Baltic states.