Ukraine's acting president: Military restores control of airport
Heavy gunfire at an airport in eastern Ukraine was reported after the government sent in army troops to retake control from pro-Russian militiamen. The mayor of Kramatorsk said Ukrainian troops have now occupied the military airport and are blocking its entrance. Ref. USAToday
Diplomats from Russia, Ukraine, the U.S. And the EU issued a joint statement today on the crisis in Ukraine calling for all illegal armed groups to be disarmed, all illegally seized buildings to be returned to their owners, and for all occupied public spaces to be vacated. "Amnesty will be granted to protesters and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes," The statement said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters after an emergency meeting in Geneva that what's important now is that these words are translated into action. He said it's hoped that Russia will withdraw more troops from the area near the Ukrainian border.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stressed the need for Russian speakers in Ukraine to be protected from discrimination.
The statement also said that officials agreed the "OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days. The U.S., E.U. And Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors." Ref. CNN
Ukraine disbands army unit after fiasco push into east:
Ukraine on Thursday disbanded an army unit that lost six armoured vehicles to pro-Russian militants, as Kiev's military reeled from a disastrous attempt to oust separatists in its eastern regions. Ref. Source 9
Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings:
Dashing hopes of progress raised by a diplomatic deal in Geneva, pro-Russian insurgents who have occupied government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities said Friday they will not leave them until the country's interim government resigns. Ref. Source 8
Ukraine alert as politician 'killed'
Acting Ukraine president calls for relaunch of anti-terrorist operation in east after politician "Tortured to death" Ref. BBC
Unknown gunmen land from helicopter, attack checkpoint in Donetsk region:
Self-defence forces have managed to repel an attack on a checkpoint in Soledar city in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region after unknown assailants landed in a helicopter and attacked in a blitz operation. Ref. Source 8
Rebels seize regional Ukraine HQ
Large pro-Russian crowd storms regional government headquarters in Luhansk in eastern Ukraine Ref. BBC