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US urges Ukraine to withdraw security forces from Kiev

Posted on Feb 21 2014 | IANS

Washington, Feb 21 : The White House Thursday urged Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to "immediately withdraw" his security forces from downtown Kiev and resolve the conflict by political means, Xinhua reported.

"We are outraged by the images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic weapons on their own people," the White House said in a statement, urging the Ukrainian government to respect the right of peaceful protest, and the protesters to "express themselves peacefully."

The statement called on the Ukrainian military "not to get involved in a conflict that can and should be resolved by political means".

"The use of force will not resolve the crisis -- clear steps must be taken to stop the violence and initiate meaningfully dialogue that reduces tension and addresses the grievances of the Ukrainian people," it added.

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