May 27, 2014
By Jane Brown
The mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk is urging residents to stay home following a day of heavy fighting between government forces and pro-Russian insurgents trying to take over the local airport. The mayor says 40 people were killed in yesterday’s fighting. A fighter says 30 of his fellow rebels were killed when government forces fought back with combat jets and helicopter gunships.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said today Moscow is ready to assist efforts by Ukraine’s president-elect if he moves to negotiate a peaceful end to the unrest in Eastern Ukraine. The newly elected Petro Poroshenko is promising to negotiate with the east but also vowed to uproot the pro-Russia separatists, whom he calls “Somali Pirates”.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says Poroshenko could be the political leader to stabilize Ukraine. “He has a hard job. There’s no question about it. In my meeting with him, I got the sense that he understood what had to be done and he had the energy to do it.”
The pro-Russian rebels have seized government offices and fought Ukrainian troops in eastern Ukraine for more than a month.