Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk (L) meets United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Kiev, March 22, 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Kravchenko/Pool
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Ukraine hosts two vital allies on Saturday amid Western efforts to cement Kiev's leaning away from Moscow in a Cold War-style struggle for the ex-Soviet nation that has already seen Russia take Crimea.The pact puts Ukraine on a firmer footing toward EU membership which the protesters -- tired of corruption and Russian domination -- sought and which Putin feared because of the doom it spelt for his dream of recreating a Kremlin-run empire of a post-Soviet state.Ukraine is unlikely to hear its calls for US and EU military support answered despite the hourly advances Russian troops and pro-Kremlin militia are making on the rebel Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.Russian forces on Friday marked Putin putting his name on a treaty sealing the Kremlin's absorption of the mostly Russian-speaking region by storming and seizing Ukraine's only submarine in the region.
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