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Sunday, October 25, 2020

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Russian envoy sees end to Ukraine crisis

 
Russia's U.N. ambassador said he expects this week's gathering of world leaders to be difficult, but asserted that the crisis over Ukraine — which he blamed on the United States — was moving toward a solution.
Vitaly Churkin, the Russian United Nations envoy, did not discuss Western and Ukrainian claims that the Kremlin had deployed its troops and heavy weapons to eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have been battling to align the region with Russia after the overthrow of former President Viktor Yanukovich after months of protests against his rule. The uprising became bloody when government forces fired on and killed demonstrators who stepped up protests after Yanukovich backed out of a deal for closer economic ties with the European Union and, instead, turned to Russia and its promise of billions of dollars to prop up the country's declining economy.
Yanukovich eventually fled to Russia, saying he feared for his life. That led his supporters, primarily in the Russian-speaking industrial region of eastern Ukraine, to demand that they become part of Russia. It now appears any deal will only give the region greater autonomy. But, in the meantime, thousands have died in fighting as Ukrainian troops have battled to retake rebel held industrial towns in the east. As the fighting has dragged on, despite a cease-fire agreement, Churkin said: "Maybe we are moving toward the end of it, but it's going to be a rough stretch."
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