04/16/2014 12:30 pm ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

Photos Of Civilians Posing With Masked Militiamen Shows Other Side Of Conflict

Ukraine's government launched an operation against pro-Russian separatists who had seized various buildings in the country's east on Tuesday, but it appears the mission is not exactly going as planned. While the army boasted initially boasted that it had been able to force a group of gunmen out of the Kramatorsk airfield, reports emerged on Wednesday that members of a militia had been able to take over several Ukrainian army tanks. In addition, the fate of a group of government soldiers who were heading for the town of Kramatorsk but were surrounded by separatists remained unclear.

What's more, a flood of images showing civilians posing with armed militiamen are dealing a blow to Kiev's narrative that Kremlin-backed terrorists are trying to carve up a united Ukraine against the will of the local populace. It's a reminder that many parts of the country's east do indeed have significant pro-Russian sympathies, and that in a country as culturally and linguistically divided as Ukraine, things are never that black and white.

Girls posing with the "liberators" of Slovyansk. The atmosphere is celebratory.


Trouble In Ukraine's East