Putin Warns Again That Russia Could Intervene Militarily in Ukraine

'Our country will always defend our compatriots using the full arsenal of means ... including the right for self defense'

Putin Warns Again of Force as Ukraine Fighting Spreads (The NY Times)

The simmering standoff in eastern Ukraine exploded into warfare early Tuesday, pushing the conflict to a dangerous new phase and prompting President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to warn again that he reserves the right to use force to defend Russian-speaking citizens.

Government forces unleashed ground assaults and air bombardments throughout the region, including heavy artillery shelling around the rebel-controlled city of Slovyansk and pitched battles for control of administrative buildings in Donetsk. The attacks began shortly after President Petro O. Poroshenko declared an end to a 10-day cease-fire and ordered government forces to renew their effort to quash a pro-Russian separatist insurrection in the east.

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