Pro-Russian separatists seize another eastern Ukraine town

Armed pro-Russian separatists have taken control of the east Ukrainian town of Kostyantynivka today. Separatists in Slaviansk yesterday released one of eight OSCE monitors they are holding.

Thugs with sticks break up peaceful pro Ukrainian march

A peaceful pro Ukrainian march in Donetsk has been broken up by thugs with sticks while riot police stood by, according to ITV's Europe Editor James Mates.

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Our producer Evgeny hit on the head by a brick as we ran from the pro-Russian attack http://t.co/KIS5dRn6bV

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Peaceful pro Ukrainian march broken up by thugs with sticks. Running battles now. #donetsk

Russia: Number of Ukraine forces 'deep concern'

Russia has said the number of Ukrainian military forces deployed in the southeast of the country should cause "deep concern" among members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of an armoured personnel carrier
Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of an armoured personnel carrier at a checkpoint outside the city of Slavians. Credit: Reuters

In a statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said there were more than 11,000 Ukrainian troops, 160 tanks, 230 armoured vehicles and 150 artillery pieces deployed in the region as part of an operation to counter pro-Russian separatists.

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'Brisk trade in memento snaps' in Ukraine town

Hours after taking over the east Ukrainian town of Kostyantynivka pro-Russian gunmen posed for photographs with civilians outside the seized town hall, even allowing young children to pose with their weapons for the shots.

ITV News Senior Foreign Editor John Angier is at the scene:

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Brisk trade in memento snaps with pro Russia militia in Kostyantynivka #Ukraine http://t.co/GJuP3ud4qM

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Small boy co opted for a pro Russia photo op at Kostyantynivka town hall #Ukraine http://t.co/9y5zjUsTSo

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Armed separatists at scene of latest Ukraine takeover

ITV News Senior Foreign Editor John Angier is in Kostyantynivka, the latest eastern Ukrainian town taken over by armed pro-Russian separatists.

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Rocket launcher, assault rifle, pistol and bayonet: why take any chances? Pro Russia gunman in #Ukraine http://t.co/AoWZT7F9k3

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The masked gunmen captured the police headquarters and the town administration building today.

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Barricades going up at Kostyantynivka town hall, now controlled by pro Russia militia #Ukraine http://t.co/N8RKRI0A3f

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Ukrainian mayor 'fighting for his life' after shooting

Gennady Kernes, the mayor of Ukraine's second-biggest city, Kharkiv, is in hospital undergoing emergency surgery after being shot in the back, Interfax reported, quoting the mayor's spokeswoman.

Ukrainian troops stand guard at a checkpoint near the city of Izium in the Kharkiv region Credit: Reuters

"The doctors are fighting to save his life," the agency quoted the spokeswoman, Tatiana Gruzinskaya, as saying.

Armed separatists increase control on Donetsk town

Armed pro-Russian separatists who captured the police headquarters in the east Ukrainian town of Kostyantynivka have also seized the town administration building, a spokesman for the regional government said.

Pro-Russia men build a barricade in front of the seized city council building in Kostyantynivka today.
Pro-Russia men build a barricade in front of the seized city council building in Kostyantynivka today. Credit: Reuters

"I think it's the usual demands, the same as in other towns, the scenario doesn't change: a referendum and a federal system of government," said Ilya Suzdaliev, a spokesman for the Donetsk region administration, which includes Kostyantynivka.

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Scottish government view on Putin 'abundantly clear'

A spokesman for Alex Salmond has played down the Scottish First Minister's comment that he admired "certain aspects" of Vladimir Putin's leadership.

The spokesman pointed out that the interview, conducted by former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell for GQ magazine, took place before the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

"Since then, the Scottish Government has made our position abundantly clear on the illegal annexation, including the decision to withdraw the invitation to the Russian Consul General to the annual Scottish Consular Corps dinner," he said.

Read: Alex Salmond admires 'certain aspects' of Putin

Alex Salmond admires 'certain aspects' of Putin

SNP leader Alex Salmond has said he admires "certain aspects" of Vladimir Putin's leadership of Russia and said he had "restored a substantial part of Russian pride.

Alex Salmond said he admired 'certain aspects' of Vladimir Putin's leadership Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In an interview with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell for GQ magazine, the First Minister said Mr Putin was "more effective" than some perceive him to be.

However, he also tempered his praise by criticising "aspects of Russian constitutionality and the inter-mesh with business and politics" in the country.

Read: Nigel Farage admires 'Putin as a leader'

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