Russian President Vladimir Putin told Ukraine to stop the anti-terrorist operation in the east against pro-Russian forces. Over 45 are dead in Donetsk from May 26 and 27 after President-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to strengthen the operation. To make matters worse, media outlets reported Chechens inside east Ukraine and Russian forces on Ukraine’s border.
In his first reported comments on Ukraine since its presidential election on Sunday, Putin also stepped up pressure on Kiev to start a dialogue with the rebel leaders as fighting raged in east Ukraine.
The Kremlin said Putin had spoken to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi by telephone and “underscored the need for an immediate halt to the punitive military operation in the southeastern regions and the establishment of peaceful dialogue between Kiev and representatives of the regions.”
On Monday, pro-Russian forces captured the Donetsk airport and train station. The fighting was so intense Donetsk Mayor Lukyanchenko asked residents to stay home. Then Hromadske TV reported 40 Russian trucks were found near Ukraine’s border and appeared to be ready to cross into Donetsk. A few border guards believe some of the men did cross the border.
“There are grounds to believe that Russian terrorists are being sent onto Ukrainian territory, organized and financed under the direct control of the Kremlin and Russian special forces,” said the foreign ministry.
Vice News and CNN found Chechens inside Ukraine and fighting with the pro-Russians.