Apr 23, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A number of developments in the crisis in Ukraine this morning.

The Ukrainian government has ordered its military to resume an offensive against pro-Russian insurgents in the eastern part of the country.

The decision follows the discovery of the body of a politician from the party of interim President Alexander Turchinov. Vladimir Rybak had apparently been tortured.

The Military says one of its planes was also hit by gunfire near the rebel-held city of Slovyansk where Rybak’s body was found.

And the United States is flexing its muscles as well. US army troops will be conducting military exercises in four Eastern Europe countries in the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Rear Admiral John Kirby says the exercises send a clear message that the U-S is committed to protecting its allies. The exercises will last about a month, and involve a total of roughly 600 troops.

Finally, the insurgents in Eastern Ukraine say they are holding captive an American journalist. Simon Ostrovsky is a reporter for Vice News. His employer says it is working with US authorities to secure his release.

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