WH supports Ukraine crackdown

The White House on Tuesday backed the Ukrainian government as it moved to crack down on pro-Russian militants occupying government buildings in the country's Eastern regions.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that while "the use of force is not a preferred option," that separatist roadblocks and building occupations had created a situation "somewhat untenable to the lawful government of Ukraine."

"The Ukrainian government has a responsibility to provide law and order, and these provocations in Eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond," Carney said.

Carney's comments came amid reports of gunfire at a military airport in the Eastern city of Kramatorsk and Ukranian troop movements outside the city of Slovyansk. The government in Kiev has vowed an "anti-terrorist" operation against the pro-Russian fighters.

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