As Ukrainian forces enter the second stage of what the government calls an “anti-terrorist” campaign to stamp out pro-Russian rebels in the east, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned Kyiv on Friday that it would face retribution for the five rebels killed by Ukrainian soldiers a day earlier.
Ukrainian government forces “are waging a war on their own people,” Lavrov said at a meeting of diplomats. “This is a bloody crime, and those who pushed the army to do that will pay, I am sure, and will face justice.”
A few hours later, Ukraine’s interim Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk fired back at that accusation, and at Lavrov’s earlier comparison of the crisis in Ukraine to Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008. Lavrov had indicated that Moscow could be forced to intervene on the part of pro-Russian separatists in the same way it did in Georgia.
“Attempts at military conflict in Ukraine will lead to a military conflict in Europe,” Yatsenyuk told a cabinet meeting broadcast live and translated by Reuters. “The world has not yet forgotten World War II, but Russia already wants to start World War III.”
For more on this story, visit: Russia warns Kyiv will pay for ‘anti-terrorism’ campaign | Al Jazeera America.