- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin reportedly told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a quick telephone call that he thought the Ukrainian crisis had teetered toward the edge of civil war.

Mr. Putin make the offhand remark on Tuesday, Voice of America reported. As a backdrop, he also accused the Ukrainian government of chasing an “anti-constitutional” avenue because it was taking up arms against pro-Russian demonstrators, VOA said. The demonstrators have seized and occupied several government or official agency buildings that are located in 10 towns and cities in southeastern Ukraine.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, followed up Mr. Putin’s remarks by saying that Russia hopes — along with Germany — that scheduled talks in Geneva that include the European Union and the United States will result in a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian unrest, VOA said.

His statements come as witnesses in several Ukrainian locations report that six armored personnel carriers displaying the Russian flag have stormed into the area and that pro-Russian forces have occupied the mayor’s office and the nearby city council building in Donetsk, VOA reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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