Pro-Russian activists make barricades in front of the gate of an airport in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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Russia warned Tuesday that Ukraine was on the brink of "civil war" after Kiev's leaders pushed troops and tanks toward a flashpoint eastern city to counter a separatist surge backed by Moscow.The 20 tanks and armored personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by Kiev's Western-backed government to the pro-Kremlin militants' occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine's rust belt. "They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed," Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) Gen. Vasyl Krutov told a group of reporters tracking the sudden tank movements.He insisted that the militants were receiving support from several hundred soldiers from the Russian army's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) that had been dispatched to Slavyansk and surrounding villages. Witnesses told AFP that at least two Ukrainian military helicopters had landed in the nearby town of Kramatorsk with reinforcements for the offensive.
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