Ukraine’s acting interior minister has alleged that the killing of protesters in Kyiv took place under the orders of ousted president Viktor Yanukovych.
The government also announced Thursday the detention of 12 members of an elite riot police unit on suspicion of shooting protesters. More than 100 people were killed during unrest in Kyiv in February.
NATO’s top commander, General Philip Breedlove, said Wednesday the Russian force is “ready to go” and could take over large parts of Ukraine in a little as three days.
Foreign Minister Lavrov Thursday called on the West and Ukraine to de-escalate the rhetoric, which he said is becoming unreasonable.
He is also asking NATO for answers on its plans to beef up defenses in Eastern Europe — a direct response to the Russian takeover of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.
NATO foreign ministers also announced they will officially end all civilian and military cooperation with Russia. The ministers say they do not recognize the annexation of Crimea and urged Moscow to immediately comply with international law.
Moscow accuses NATO of reverting to Cold War rhetoric.