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Sergey Lavrov

Pro-Russian groups tighten grip on eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian militiamen are strengthening their hold on eastern Ukraine, even as international talks continue to probe a way to ease tensions in the embattled nation.More than a dozen cities in self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, home to 10 percent of Ukraine’s 45 million people, remained firmly under the control of by Kremlin-backed separatist groups led by Russia’s well-trained, well-equipped and well-financed special forces, who today employ the same IT technologies and electronic media strategies used to in Kiev to topple former President Viktor Yanukovych in February.The two cities of regional significance located at the northern portion of Donetsk province in eastern Ukraine are Sloviansk (population 120,000) and Kramotorsk (170,000 population). Both are bridgeheads for Kremlin-backed militiamen, who have used Internet portals, social media platforms, Ustream, and push-to-talk smartphone apps, such as Viber and Zello, to arrange barricades and live shields of women and chil...

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