Russian rebels to allow Ukrainian troops safe exit
Friday, August 29, 2014 - 01:37
Tough words for Russia as crisis with Ukraine deepens. Julie Noce reports.
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Heeding a request by Russian President Vladimir Putin, pro-Moscow rebels fighting in eastern Ukraine say they will allow Ukrainian troops who they've trapped, to leave the area safely through a humanitarian corridor.
The announcement seems to fly in the face of recent developments- namely claims by Ukrainian officials that Russian troops are indeed on the ground in Ukraine.
Although Russia has so far denied direct involvement, the West and its allies have no shortage of criticism.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
(SOUNDBITE)(English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER TONY ABOTT SAYING:
" it seems that Russia is now stepping out of the shadows and overtly trying to achieve its objects of domination in Ukraine and it is completely, absolutely and utterly unacceptable."
During a security council meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York, U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power exchanged barbs with her Russian counterpart.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. AMBASSADOR SAMANTHA POWER SAYING:
"... at every step, Russia has come before this Council to say everything except the truth. It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR VITALY CHURKIN SAYING:
"...I would suggest that we send a message to Washington: 'stop interfering with the internal affairs of sovereign states. Stop trying to undermine a regime that you don't like."
Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis along the border has gone from bad to worse.
Nearly 56,000 refugees from eastern Ukraine have flooded across the border into Russia where relief groups are supplying them with food and tents.
According to the UN, more than 2500 people have been killed in the fighting since it began in April.
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