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    Ukraine's Donetsk Federalists Conceal Plans as Ultimatum Ends

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    Federalist forces in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region have refused to unveil what steps they will take after a 24-hour ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Kiev security forces expired late on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) - Federalist forces in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region have refused to unveil what steps they will take after a 24-hour ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Kiev security forces expired late on Thursday.

    In the ultimatum, the Donetsk federalists threatened to start a special operation if Ukrainian troops fail to depart from roadblocks seized in the region.

    "Our military wing announced the ultimatum, it will also take the measures. I think they won't reveal their tactics," said Miroslav Rudenko, a co-chairman of the Donetsk People's Republic.

    The self-defense forces have already started taking active steps, he said, without giving further details.

    "As far as I know, our actions intensified since last night, militias launched an offensive. The opposite side's shooting against militias also intensified," Rudenko said.

    The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics in eastern Ukraine held referendums on self-determination last Sunday with over 90 percent of voters supporting greater autonomy.

    The republics declared themselves sovereign states on Monday, with Donetsk planning to ask Moscow to join Russia. The Luhansk leadership also said it did not rule out the possibility of a referendum on becoming part of Russia.

    Both republics have begun establishing government agencies and forming military units.

    Tags:
    ultimatum, federalists, Donetsk Region
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