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Ukraine must use ‘peaceful means’ to regain east: Ban

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Ukraine to use “exclusively peaceful means” to regain control in the east of the country from pro-Russian separatists.

“The secretary general is alarmed by the continuing violence that we have seen in the east during the weekend,” Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“He urges that the restoration of state control over government facilities be achieved through exclusively peaceful means including an inclusive political dialogue.”

The spokesman was responding to a question about Ukraine’s claims on Tuesday that its army had retaken the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of airstrikes and gun battles with separatist militants that left dozens of people dead.

Ban has repeatedly called for calm and a return to talks since the start of the pro-Russian uprising in April.

The battle for Donetsk, the main transport hub in Ukraine’s industrial heartland, erupted Monday just hours after president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to take a tough stand against the “terrorists”.