UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council is holding its 13th emergency meeting on the growing crisis in Ukraine at the request of Russia, whose ambassador Vitaly Churkin is demanding a "swift halt of all violence."

But Western powers on the council are accusing Russia of equipping and funding the pro-Russia forces that have seized government buildings in 10 eastern cities. Ukraine on Friday launched its first major offensive against the insurgency.

French ambassador Gerard Araud says, "Russia ... has released bands of thugs on Ukraine ... and is suddenly discovering this mixture might escape its control."

Russia called this latest council meeting, the second in a week.

But the prospect for any council action on the crisis is highly unlikely. Russia holds veto power as a permanent council member.



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