The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session on Sunday evening to discuss the escallation of tension in eastern Ukraine after a firefight broke out Ukranian security forces and pro-Russia separatists in city of Slovyansk on Saturday, killing one police officer and wounding five people, Anadolu Agency reports.
Late Sunday, in a nationally televised address Ukranian interim President Oleksandr Turchynov set a deadline that a full-scale military operation would be launched against the separatists if they failed to lay down their arms and vacate the occupied government buildings by 06:00 GMT on Monday. The deadline has passed and the Kiev government was yet to make a statement.
Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, denied western and Ukrainian claims that Moscow was behind the violence, and told the meeting that Ukraine has been using radical neo-Nazi forces to destabilise its eastern region.
"It is the west that will determine the opportunity to avoid civil war in Ukraine. Some people, including in this chamber, do not want to see the real reasons for what is happening in Ukraine and are constantly seeing the hand of Moscow in what is going on," Churkin said. "Enough. That is enough."
Churkin's comments were a direct rebuke to US and its allies which continued on Sunday to link the Kremlin to the unrest in eastern Ukraine.