April 9, 2014 / 3:28 PM / 6 years ago

Senior U.S. diplomat: no doubt Russians involved in Ukraine unrest

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said on Wednesday that Washington has no doubt that Russians were behind the takeovers of government buildings in eastern Ukraine this week.

“I don’t think that we have any doubt the preponderance of direct Russian involvement,” Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, said at a congressional hearing on the Ukraine crisis.

Demonstrators seized three government buildings in eastern Ukraine to demand regional referendums on independence from Kiev, like the one in Crimea that led to its annexation by Russia. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused Russian agents and special forces on Tuesday of stirring the separatist unrest.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott

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