Ukraine asks UN for peacekeeping force

Ukraine asks UN for peacekeeping force

Defiant pro-Russian militants here in eastern Ukraine pushed this country to the brink of war or dissolution Monday, expanding their hold while the acting president failed to make headway in trying to end the crisis.

After an ultimatum to the militants was ignored, the acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, first vowed to rout them by force, then held out the offer of a referendum to decide Ukraine’s fate, then proposed a peacekeeping intervention by the United Nations.

Nothing Turchynov said moved the pro-Russian forces, who seized another police station in another small town, Horlivka.

In a nation of 44 million, it became clear that a few hundred men, operating on the eastern fringes of the country with guns and unmarked uniforms, have brought Ukraine to a deeply dangerous juncture. …

Turchynov and other Ukrainian officials are sure that Russia is guiding the militants as they have steadily taken over one government building after another. They have vocal support on that score from Washington and London. …

Turchynov…talked with U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and later suggested that a U.N. peacekeeping force could enter eastern Ukraine. But the almost-certain opposition of Moscow, standing up for the men with guns, makes that problematic.

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