Local patrols by steelworkers have forced pro-Russia insurgents to pull out of the government buildings they had seized in this city in eastern Ukraine, giving residents hope Friday that a wave of anarchy was over.
Pro-Russian insurgents in Ukraine's Donetsk region declared independence Monday and asked to join Russia — a day after holding a hastily arranged vote on separatism that Ukraine's interim government and the West have declared a sham.
Presiding over a triumphant spectacle of warships and fighter jets, President Vladimir Putin hailed the return of Crimea to Russia as the restoration of "historic justice" before a jubilant, welcoming crowd Friday on the holiday that Russians hold dearest.
A strong majority of Ukrainians want their country to remain a single, unified state and this is true even in the largely Russian-speaking east where a pro-Russia insurgency has been fighting for autonomy, a poll released Thursday shows.
Ukraine sent an elite national guard unit to its southern port of Odessa, desperate to halt a spread of the fighting between government troops and a pro-Russia militia in the east that killed combatants on both sides Monday.
The White House on Monday said there was "overwhelming evidence" that Russia is fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, but suggested that President Barack Obama has not yet concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions warrant broader sanctions on key Russian economic sectors.
Seeking to intensify pressure on Russia, President Barack Obama on Thursday expanded U.S. economic sanctions against Moscow, targeting 20 individuals inside and outside the government, as well as a Russian bank that provides them support.
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