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Russia: Reserve the right to intervene in Ukraine

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Friday, March 14, 2014 - 8:31 am

MOSCOW — Russia has warned again that it reserves the right to intervene in defense of ethnic Russians it says are under threat in eastern Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday that authorities in Ukraine have lost control over the country and are unable to provide basic public security.

Russian officials pointed to clashes overnight Thursday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk as evidence of growing instability. One person died and 29 were injured in violence between pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian activists.

Troops under apparent Russian command have already deployed widely across the Ukraine's southern province of Crimea, which is to hold a referendum Sunday on seceding and merging with Russia.

Ukraine has accused Russia of a military invasion, and the West is threatening Moscow with sanctions.