Militia ‘Palms Race’ Threatens Lethal Escalation in Ukraine Struggle

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VELYKA NOVOSILKA/POKROVSKE, Ukraine –- The black-clad masked man with a Kalashnikov resting in his arms speaks confidently of the mission about to get underway. “We will act fast, like lightning, and we will be efficient,” he says. But should things turn hairy, “We’re ready for a war.”

To prove his point, another gestures to a rusty metal pipe with a hastily welded handle resting at his feet. “That’s a Ukrainian bazooka. Light a match, and boom!” he explains.

See also: UN: Ukraine’s Human Rights Situation Is ‘Alarming’

In the dusty courtyard of a rickety agricultural factory in this bucolic eastern Ukrainian town of less than 40,000 people, some 30 members of the Donbass Battalion, a pro-Kiev militia unit created to fight Kremlin-backed separatists who have besieged the country’s eastern regions, is readying to storm police headquarters and city hall in Velyka Novosilka. Read more…

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