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Ukraine brings back draft as rebellion spreads, threatens split

Update: May, 02/2014 - 11:27

KIEV (VNS) – An increasingly desperate Ukraine has brought back military conscription with immediate effect as a spreading pro-Russian rebellion in the east threatened the ex-Soviet republic with disintegration.

The move, decreed by interim president Oleksandr Turchynov, came on Thursday after insurgents tightened their grip over more than a dozen eastern cities and towns.

Around 300 militants hurling petrol bombs and bricks stormed the six-storey prosecutor's building in Donetsk, beating up outnumbered riot police and stripping them of their shields and batons.

Ukrainian media reported that a prosecutor's office in the town of Horlivka and a police station in Krasnoarmiysk were also overrun.

The violence took place as mass pro-Russia rallies were held in Donetsk and in annexed Crimea.

Kiev's Western-backed government has already admitted its security forces are helpless to halt the expanding rebellion it accuses Moscow of masterminding.

Turchynov on Wednesday accused law enforcement units in the east of "inaction" or even working with the rebels in an act of "treachery."

He also put Ukraine's current army of 130,000 on "full combat alert" because of fears an estimated 40,000 Russian troops massed on the border for the past two months could invade.— AFP

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