Eastern Ukrainians rap Kiev in talks

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Associated Press

Posted on May 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Updated Saturday, May 17 at 3:06 PM

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Lawmakers and officials from eastern Ukraine say a large sector of the population has lost hope in the interim administration in Kiev.

The politicians delivered that message today during a second round of European-brokered talks intended to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. They accused the central government of ignoring legitimate grievances of the eastern regions that have been overrun by pro-Russia militia fighting for independence.

One eastern leader said last weekend's unofficial referendum in favor of independence "expressed the will of the people."

Acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk (ahr-SEHN'-ee yaht-sehn-YOOK') called on the eastern leaders to disarm the insurgents, regain control and "start a political dialogue."

Today's talks came hours after gunfire was heard throughout the night near the eastern city of Slovyansk (SLAHV'-yansk), the stronghold of pro-Russia fighters, where forces loyal to the Kiev government had moved in to protect a television tower.

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