12 Ukrainian soldiers killed, including a general who served in the Soviet army and was in charge of combat training.
Pro-Russian insurgents attacked a military checkpoint in eastern Ukraine; Kiev accuses Moscow of trying to disrupt upcoming election.
Steelworkers retook government buildings from pro-Russian militants in an industrial port city in eastern Ukraine.
Government is desperate to stop fighting between its troops and pro-Russian militia in its southern port city.
Ukrainian troops fought pitched gunbattles Monday with a pro-Russia militia occupying an eastern city – an apparent escalation of their efforts to bring the region back under government control in the country’s ongoing crisis.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says western nations want to seize control of Ukraine because of their own political ambitions as tensions rise between pro-Russian gunmen and Ukrainian troops. Ukrainian acting prime minister says Russian wants to start World War III.
In Tokyo, Obama accuses Moscow of doing nothing to decrease tensions in the region.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday dismissed claims that Russian special forces are fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine as “nonsense,” but expressed hope for success of four-way talks on settling the crisis.
Russia is preparing to formally annex the Black Sea peninsula after Sunday’s referendum.
U.S. and Europe are threatening economic and political consequences if Russia does not stand down in Ukraine.