UK & World News

  • 23 May 2014, 22:10

Ukraine: Insurgents Killed In Attack On Convoy

Twenty pro-Russian insurgents have been killed after an attack on a convoy of soldiers in eastern Ukraine, according to reports.

Ukraine's defence ministry has said in a statement up to 500 insurgents attacked the convoy outside the eastern village of Rubizhne.

It added that one soldier had been killed earlier on Friday in a separate clash in the same area.

It comes after Vladimir Putin said Russia will recognise the outcome of Ukraine's presidential election as he criticised the West for imposing economic sanctions on his country.

He also blamed the West for plunging Ukraine into "chaos and a full-scale civil war" since the country's former president was overthrown months ago.

Striking a more conciliatory note, he said he is ready to work with the new Ukrainian leadership and insisted Moscow wants peace and order restored in its neighbour.

Speaking at an investment forum in St Petersburg, the Russian President said: "We will treat the choice of the Ukrainian people with respect."

On Thursday, pro-Russian insurgents attacked a military checkpoint in the eastern town of Volnovakh, reportedly killing at least 13 troops and wounding more than 30.

Militants have been seizing government buildings in eastern Ukraine and fighting government troops for more than a month.

Mr Putin also said Russia does not want to isolate itself from the rest of the world and wants to work with Washington on many projects.

"We are not planning any self-isolation," Mr Putin said.

"We hope that common sense ... will prompt our European and US partners to work with Russia."

Twenty-one candidates are competing on Sunday to become Ukraine's next leader.

However, it will be impossible to hold the vote in some areas in the east - especially in Donetsk and Luhansk, where insurgents have declared independence and pledged to derail the vote.

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