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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Military Operation in East Ukraine to Last Longer Than Expected

RIA Novosti

15:35 05/06/2014

KIEV, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's acting Head of the Presidential Administration Serhiy Pashinsky said Thursday that the military operation in eastern Ukraine was likely to last longer than originally hoped.

"I can't think of a short-term scenario, but I'm absolutely sure that if our actions are consistent and single-minded and if the Ukrainian cabinet, the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] of Ukraine, the Ukrainian president and Ukrainian society work together, we will solve this problem," Pashinsky said at a press briefing.

The acting head said the military had made its "first serious gain" earlier this week when it seized control of Krasny Liman, a city in the restive Donetsk Region, and cleared it from defense forces.

Pashinsky did not confirm allegations that claimed 15 trucks with gunmen had trespassed into Ukraine from Russia on Wednesday night, saying he lacked sufficient information about this incident. The breach of the Ukrainian border was reported by Ukrainian politician Yuriy Lutsenko.

In mid-April, Kiev authorities started a special military operation in the east of Ukraine to suppress pro-independence protests, with the majority of clashes limited to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

According to a RIA Novosti source in Kiev, Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko ordered the military to "purge" the turbulent southeastern Ukraine of resistance forces. The billionaire candy-maker allegedly set the deadline for the operation for June 7, the day he is sworn into office.

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