After separatists in the Ukraine shot down two government helicopters and violence escalated, a spokesman for Vladimir Putin issued the following statement, as reported by Neil MacFarquahar and Alan Cowell of the New York Times:

“The Kiev regime ordered combat aircraft to fire at civilian towns and villages, launching a ‘punitive operation’ and effectively destroying all hope for the viability of the Geneva agreements.”

NATO countries meanwhile, as Paul D. Shinkman of US News reports:

… may be ramping up their war of words in the coming weeks in Ukraine, where Russian propaganda flows freely into the east while ill-prepared security forces can't even talk to one another. Multiple officials … say planning is underway to bolster the Ukrainian government’s ability to communicate among its security services and broadcast to the general public. The details are still being worked out, including whether this would require troops from NATO countries on the ground in Ukraine to train and support the effort.

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