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Deadly Violence in Ukraine is ‘Attempted Coup,’ Russia Says

The deadly unrest between pro-West demonstrators and security forces in Ukraine was an "attempted coup," the Kremlin said Wednesday.

Echoing comments made by Ukraine's interim prime minister in the wake of clashes in Kiev, Russia's foreign ministry said the events could only be defined as an "attempted coup and a ... takeover of authority."

While visiting Kuwait, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed radical activists for the bloodshed but also accused the West of "encouraging the opposition to act outside of the law."

Russia and the European Union have exchanged recriminations since Kiev's decision in November to shelve plans for a trade agreement with Brussels and to seek closer links with Russia instead, a move that sparked mass unrest in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has insisted it does not oppose strong Ukraine-EU ties but believes the EU was trying to pressure Ukraine into signing the deal and choosing between the EU and Russia

Moscow announced on Monday it would resume stalled aid to Kiev, pledging a $2-billion cash injection hours before the deadly crackdown began. However, Reuters reported Wednesday that money has not yet arrived.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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