The Russian Foreign Ministry says it is outraged by operations the Kiev authorities launched in the southeastern part of Ukraine early on Saturday.
"The situation around Slavyansk in the Donetsk region dramatically worsened in the early hours of May 17. Ukrainian troops supported by aviation once again attempted to storm the city. This time around, civilian installations were shelled by heavy artillery. Some people were wounded. A real threat to peaceful civilians' lives was created. All this causes Russia's lawful outrage," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
"We are insisting once again on the immediate stoppage of military actions in the southeastern part of Ukraine by Kiev," it said.
Moscow hopes that "our Western partners will actively apply influence on Kiev so that it should start real rather than showy work toward achieving national accord in the country," it said.
"The Kiev authorities' punitive actions against their own citizens attest to their hypocrisy, as they are lying about their alleged willingness to comply with the provisions of the Geneva statement of April 17, 2014 and the OSCE roadmap," the Foreign Ministry said.
"The saber-rattling causes our special perplexity, as it is exactly today that Kharkiv is hosting the second roundtable conference on looking for ways to overcome the political crisis in Ukraine. There is the impression that the self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities are simply taking advantage of this forum to cover their aggressive actions," it said.
"It is also a question whether the organization of elections to the cannonade's accompaniment is consistent with democratic norms of the election process currently in progress in Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.