Amid rising political tensions in eastern Ukraine where several key government buildings have been overrun by armed pro-Russian separatists, Ukrainian military forces maneuvered into the region and took over an airport in Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine that was previously occupied by pro-Russian separatists.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry in Kiev claimed that two Ukrainian soldiers were taken hostage by pro-Russian “extremists” operating in eastern Ukraine.
Kiev is attempting to re-establish control of eastern Ukraine after the region was recently dominated by armed pro-Russian separatists who are seeking to separate the region from Kiev and its pro-Western government that Moscow claims is unconstitutional.
Moscow has failed to recognize Kiev’s new government after pro-Russian former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power in February and his administration stands accused of embezzling $20 billion in Ukrainian gold reserves along with transferring $70 billion in offshore accounts over the past 3 years.
Kiev is now attempting to recover some of the billions of dollars that it claims went missing while Yanukovych’s administration was in power.
Ukraine is faced with $ 75 billion in debts that it owes after turning to the IMF and the United States for financial life support.
Recently, Gazprom raised gas prices to Ukraine by 80 percent.
Tomorrow foreign ministers from Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the EU will meet in Geneva, Switzerland for a round of talks.
NATO ambassadors will be meeting today in Brussels.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the rising conflict in Ukraine “essentially puts the nation on the brink of civil war” while Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said that Moscow is “exporting terrorism to Ukraine.”