Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Kiev: The authorities in Kiev appeared more emboldened and launched an anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukrainian cities against the illegal pro-Russian armed groups as the first batch of US troops landed in Poland for military exercises .
Over 600 US troops have been planned for military exercises in Poland and three Baltic states, of which 150 landed in Poland yesterday, reported the BBC.
Russia has already been maintaining a thick military presence on Ukraine border.
Ukrainian government, propped up by reassured US support against Russia, has launched security operation against the pro-Russian men occupying buildings in at least 10 eastern towns.
Talking to the reporters, Ukraine`s First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema said the security forces were tasked with tackling illegal armed groups, adding that they were assured of US help in case of Russian aggression.
"We have obtained the support of the United States, that they will not leave us alone with an aggressor. We hope that in the event of Russian aggression, this help will be more substantive," Yarema said.
The recent Ukraine crisis has strained the East-West relations to a maximum since the Cold war phase as Russia yesterday retorted that it will retaliate if attacked.
In an interview to the state-controlled Russia Today television, Russian Foreign Minister Segei Lavrov said that Russia will retaliate if attacked, adding that it is America which is engineering the recent events in Ukraine.
Lavrov also mentioned the Russian invasion of Georgia`s South Ossetia in 2008 when he said, “If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in accordance with international law”.
Lavrov also accused the US of manipulating the events in Ukraine, referring to the timing of “anti-terrorist operation” launched by the government only after US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev and assured of US support.
Russia`s bold retort came after US reiterated its warning of imposing further sanctions against Moscow in wake of lack of positive steps in direction of stabilisation of Ukraine.
Russia had earlier accused the Ukraine government of failing to implement Geneva deal by doing nothing to resolve the crisis.
After two “brutally tortured” bodies - including that of local politician Vladimir Rybak - were found in Ukraine, President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered the relaunch of military operations against pro-Russian militants.