Russia urges West to press Kiev to avert Ukraine "catastrophe"

MOSCOW Thu May 29, 2014 9:51am EDT

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MOSCOW May 29 (Reuters) - Russia demanded on Thursday that the Ukrainian government stop its military operation against pro-Russian separatists and urged the United States and European Union to press Kiev to avert a "catastrophe" in the former Soviet republic.

"We once again demand that the Kiev authorities stop the fratricidal war and start a real national dialogue," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding: "We again call on our Western partners to use all their influence on Kiev to stop Ukraine's slide into national catastrophe."

(Writing by Steve Gutterman, Editing by Timothy Heritage)