March 13, 2014
Violence has erupted in Ukraine’s eastern city of Donetsk between Ukrainians and pro-Russian groups as Moscow moves thousands of troops to the border. Fighting broke out at rallies staged by opposing demonstrators. One person was killed and at least 10 were hurt, it has been reported. Pro-Russian demonstrators shouted ‘Russia, Putin!’ and hurled eggs, bottles and other projectiles at rival demonstrators. It comes as Russia confirmed today it has massed thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine as John Kerry warned of ‘serious consequences’ if Moscow tried to annex Crimea.
A referendum is set to be held in Crimea on the peninsula’s status this weekend, and the US Secretary of State today said that there is no justification for it to take place. He had earlier said that things could ‘get ugly fast’ after Russia’s defense ministry said massive artillery drills have been launched in its Southern Military District – which covers the border area – involving 8,500 troops and a large amount of hardware. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are dut to meet in London tomorrow. It coincides with war games conducted by the country’s Airborne Troops.In a statement, the ministry said: ‘The main purpose of these actions is to completely check teamwork of the units and make them implement combat missions on an unknown territory.