Russian President Valdimir Putin called for a halt to the Ukrainian military operation in the East Tuesday, the day after 30 pro-Russian separatists were killed in the first military action ordered by the new president Petro Poroshenko. Monday, armed separatists who stormed Donetsk airport were quickly hit by Ukrainian air strikes and armored forces. The day after his election, Poroshenko vowed to continue “anti-terrorist operations” in the east, saying that any episode would “last hours not months.” The airport remains closed amid a standoff. 

DEBKAfile: The Ukrainian army has so far made no substantial gains against the rebel militias in Donetsk or Luhansk, the other pro-Russian province which declared independence.