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Easter pause provides threads to Ukraine for security operation

Sourced from TIO: KIEV: Ukraine’s government relaunched a security operation to crack down on pro-Russian armed groups after an Easter pause on Wednesday and said it had the backing of the US. Prompted in part by the discovery of the body of a Ukrainian politician who appeared to have been tortured, officials in Kiev decided to renew what they call an “anti-terrorist operation” against separatist militias who have seized control of about a dozen public buildings in eastern Ukraine. 

But it was unclear what steps Kiev could take to restore its authority in the mainly Russian-speaking east, without wrecking the Geneva accord, signed last week to defuse the stand-off. 

“The security forces are working on the liquidation of illegal armed groups,” in the east of Ukraine, First Deputy PM Vitaly Yarema said. The Kiev government appeared to have been emboldened by the visit of US Vice-President Joe Biden. “We have obtained support of US that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor. We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive,” he said. The US and Nato have made clear they will not intervene militarily in Ukraine. But the Pentagon said it was sending about 600 soldiers to Poland and the three Baltic states for infantry exercises, to reassure Nato allies.

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