April 14 - As armed pro-Russia activists brace for a government-launched anti-terrorist operation, international parties are scrambling to find a peaceful resolution. Nathan Frandino reports.
A deadline to surrender passes and armed pro-Russia activists remain. Now, citizens of Slaviansk are standing by, bracing for Kiev's anti-terrorist operation. They say they're standing by their demands. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT ANDREI SAYING: "I want a referendum, I want autonomy, so that our people would work and earn money. Our people know how to work and know how to earn money, but the authorities give our people the finger, do you understand?" Now the European Union is scrambling to find a peaceful resolution. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF CATHERINE ASHTON SAYING: "First of all, our growing concern about what Russia is doing, the reports that are coming out of unrest in the eastern part of Ukraine, trying to call for calm, trying to make sure that people can use democratic means to talk about the future of their country as we look to the presidential elections and beyond." The EU is considering tougher sanctions against Russia and sending a police force to Ukraine. Russia, meanwhile, says it is not meddling in Ukraine and that Kiev must not resort to violence. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SERGEI LAVROV SAYING: "We've made it very clear that any use of force against the demonstrators would seriously affect the possibilities of cooperation on the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine." Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine are scheduled to meet Thursday in Geneva to discuss the situation.