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A pro-Russian fighter stands near a damaged gate at an Ukrainian military unit captured by pro-Russian fighters in the city of Donetsk, Ukraine. / Dmitry Lovetsky, AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin met Tuesday with his security council as Ukrainian forces launched military operations against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern sections of the country.

The Ukrainian offensive resumed "anti-terrorist operation" after new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ended a 10-day, unilateral cease-fire that had failed to produce peace talks. Oleksandr Turchynov, speaker of Ukraine's parliament, informed lawmakers that the Ukraine military had been carrying out "attacks on terrorists' bases and defended posts."

Putin met with members of his security staff and "held a detailed discussion of the situation in Ukraine, which is rapidly deteriorating," Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russia-owned ITAR-TASS news agency.

Poroshenko, who had initiated the ceasefire, had announced in a televised address early Tuesday that he was resuming military operations, vowing to "attack and liberate our land."

"Termination of ceasefire is our response to terrorists, insurgents, marauders ... and (those who) deprive people of normal peaceful life," Poroshenko said.

The fragile cease-fire that expired Monday night was initiated in an attempt by Poroshenko to give rebels a chance to disarm and start a broader peace process, including an amnesty and new elections.

But rebels did not disarm or comply with Poroshenko's latest push to get them to turn over key border crossings with Russia and permit international monitoring of the cease-fire.

One policeman was killed and two others seriously injured Tuesday after "terrorist groups" stormed the regional police department building in Donetsk on Tuesday, according to the Interior Ministry.

Police, led by Gen. Kostiantyn Pozhydayev, have "barricaded themselves in the building and are defending it," the statement said, according to Interfax Ukraine.

In his address, Poroshenko said "(t)he unique chance to put the peace plan into practice was not realized."

"This happened because of the criminal actions of the fighters," he said, adding that militants violated the truce "more than a hundred times."

Poroshenko had already extended the cease-fire from seven days as part of a plan to end the fighting that has killed more than 400 people since April.

His decision followed four-way talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande as the deadline approached. He issued a statement after the talks ended, saying the key conditions needed to continue the cease-fire had not been met.

European leaders have threatened a new round of economic sanctions against Russia if it and the rebels don't meet conditions set by Poroshenko. But ambassadors from the European Union's 28 governments decided Tuesday in Brussels that they were not ready to impose new sanctions, instead agreeing to prepare a proposal to be decided at their next meeting Monday, according to an E.U. official, the Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, Putin, who met with Russian ambassadors, envoys and diplomats at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Moscow, discussed the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's foreign policy goals in a speech to the gathering.

"Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has resolved to resume military action, and we failed â?? when I say 'we', I mean my colleagues in Europe and myself â?? we failed to convince him that the road to a secure, stable and inviolable peace cannot lie through war," Putin said.

He called the crisis in Ukraine "an internal matter for the Ukrainian state," but added that ":(w)e regret the fact that people are dying, including civilians."

On Monday, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, told reporters at the Pentagon that about seven Russian battalion task groups remain on the border with Ukraine as well as numerous special operations forces.

He added that Russian regular military forces are facilitating the movement of forces, equipment and finances across the Ukrainian border.

"Russian irregular forces are very active inside eastern Ukraine. Russian-backed forces are active inside eastern Ukraine. And Russian financing is very active inside eastern Ukraine," Breedlove said.

Putin has called-up reserve units of his military, which Ukrainian generals believe means he's planning to invade Ukraine, says Phil Karber, president of the Potomac Foundation, a think tanks based on meetings he had Monday with Ukrainian military commanders.

The generals believe the cease-fire gave separatists who were "on the ropes" a chance to regroup, resupply with weapons and new fighters from Russia and prevented Ukrainian forces from surrounding and cutting off the insurgents when they had the chance, Karber said.

Karber said the airport in Kiev, Ukraine's capital hundreds of miles from fighting in the east, appeared ready for battle with sandbag defense positions and light armor for runway protection and rapid response.

Russia, meanwhile, protested the overnight shooting death of a Russian journalist, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said it has scaled back its monitoring operations because of safety concerns.

Anatoly Klyan, a cameraman for state-owned Channel One, was shot in the stomach by Ukrainian forces on a bus carrying journalists and soldiers' mothers, according to his employer, Reuters reported. Klyan later died of his wounds.

Klyan is the third Russian journalist killed since fighting broke out in April between pro-Russian separatists and government forces in east Ukraine. An Italian journalist and his interpreter were killed in May.

East Ukraine separatists on Friday and Saturday released eight international monitors taken hostage a month ago while observing fighting in the region.

Alexander Hug, deputy chief monitor for the rights and security watchdog group, said all were unharmed but that activities in contested areas of east Ukraine will be reduced until security improves.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said Monday it had scaled back monitoring operations in eastern Ukraine and frozen further deployments after eight of its observers were held hostage for a month.

Contributing: Oren Dorell in Washington




Copyright 2014USA TODAY

Read the original story: Ukraine resumes military operations against insurgents

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