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Russia says Kiev's planned operation against rebels is "criminal"

Source: Reuters - Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:40 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Adds quotes from statement)

MOSCOW, April 13 (Reuters) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that an announcement by the authorities in Kiev that they will mobilise the army to put down a rebellion by pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine was a "criminal order".

The ministry said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control. "It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine," it said in a statement posted on Facebook.

It also said that Russia would put an urgent discussion of the situation in eastern Ukraine on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council.

"The situation in southeastern Ukraine is taking on an extremely dangerous character. The authorities in Kiev, who put themselves in power as a result of a coup d'etat, have set a course to use force to put down popular protests," the statement said.

"We decisively condemn attempts to use brute force against protesters and activists ... We are particularly indignant about the criminal order of (Ukrainian Acting President Oleksander Turchinov) to use the army to put down protest."

The statement said the West had sponsored the rulers in Kiev and should now "rein in its out-of-control proteges, force them to distance themselves from neo-Nazis and other extremists, stop using armed force against the Ukrainian people, and immediately start a genuine dialogue".

(Reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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