Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Geneva agreement between Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the US is now invalid because Ukraine used military force to recapture cities occupied by pro-Russian forces.
“Basically, at the same time that Russia is taking pains to de-escalate and regulate the conflict, the Kiev regime has begun shooting up peaceful towns with military helicopters and has started a punitive operation, essentially destroying the last hope for the viability of the Geneva agreement,” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.
“Earlier, when he was still in Minsk, Putin called the possible operation a criminal action. Unfortunately, the development of events completely confirms this appraisal.”
The statement comes after Ukraine launched a military operation to retake Sloviansk from the pro-Russians. The defense ministry announces nine checkpoints are now in the Ukrainian army hands, but pro-Russians managed to shoot down at least two helicopters. Russian media says four helicopters were shot down.
However, the four countries agreed to stop the tensions between pro-Ukrainians and pro-Russians in east Ukraine. The agreement did not entail how the countries should go about the situation. All four expressed the desire to end the confrontations peacefully through talks.
The towns are not peaceful, especially Sloviansk. The pro-Russians have kidnapped numerous journalists and politicians, including American journalist Simon Ostrovsky. Ukrainian Deputy Volodymyr Rybak was found in a river with a sandbag around his waist and his stomach slashed. The forces are still holding seven of eight OSCE military observers. One was released due to medical reasons.
On April 27, almost 500 pro-Russians marched to the police station in Donetsk and vandalized buildings on their way. Then, on April 29, gunmen seized the regional government building in Luhansk. The forces raised the Russia flag and burned the Ukrainian flag in the street.
One of the worst occasions was on April 28 when pro-Russians attacked a peaceful pro-Ukraine rally in Donetsk. Journalists on the scene posted pictures of the attack, including injured cameramen. They also said the police did absolutely nothing to stop the pro-Russians.
Russia called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Friday to discuss the violence in east Ukraine.