Tensions in Ukraine are rising dangerously again despite last week's diplomatic agreement: The country's acting president has ordered security forces to resume "anti-terror" operations against pro-Russia militants in the country's east after the tortured bodies of two people allegedly abducted by insurgents were found in the city of Slovyansk, the AP reports. The militants "are beginning to torture and kill Ukrainian patriots," said Oleksandr Turchynov. "They are impudently rejecting the calls of not only our country but of all the world's society when they demonstratively mock the decisions taken in Geneva." One of the victims, he said, was a member of the city council in Slovyansk and a member of his own party. More:
- The Ukrainian government appears emboldened by Joe Biden's visit yesterday, Reuters notes. "We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor," the deputy prime minister said when announcing the "liquidation of illegal armed groups" in the east. "We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive."
- Slovyansk is emerging as a major flashpoint: Ukrainian defense officials say one of their planes was shot at during a flight over the city. The Antonov-30 was hit by several bullets but landed safely.
- The Pentagon says it is sending hundreds of extra troops to Eastern Europe to reassure allies as the Ukrainian crisis heats up. Companies with around 150 troops are being sent to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, with the first troops set to arrive today, reports the Wall Street Journal.
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