Ukraine peace deal falters as rebels show no sign of surrender

by
April 21, 2014

KIEV/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine | An agreement reached last week to avert wider conflict in Ukraine was faltering as the new week began, with pro-Moscow separatist gunmen showing no sign of surrendering government buildings they have seized.

Washington says it will hold Moscow responsible and impose new economic sanctions if the separatists do not clear out of government buildings they have occupied across swathes of eastern Ukraine over the past two weeks. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was due in Kiev later on Monday.

Kiev and Moscow traded accusations over a deadly shooting on Easter Sunday morning, when at least three people were killed at a checkpoint manned by armed separatists. Moscow and its separatist allies accused Ukrainian nationalists of attacking the checkpoint; Kiev said Russia had provoked the violence.

In a later incident, the Ukrainian defense ministry said gunmen on motorcycles fired on an army checkpoint between Donetsk and Slaviansk shortly after dark on Sunday. The troops opened fire, wounding one attacker and capturing two, it said.

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