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Ukraine's new leader vows talks with Russia, the east; military hits gunmen with air strikes

Monday - 5/26/2014, 3:10pm  ET

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine's new president-elect is promising to negotiate an end to a pro-Russia insurgency in the east and says he's willing to begin talks with Moscow.

Russia quickly welcomed Petro Poroshenko's offer for talks, but Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says Moscow sees no need for any involvement by the United States or the European Union in those talks.

At the same time, however, Poroshenko is likening the separatists to "Somali pirates."

Ukrainian forces have launched an airstrike against the militants occupying the airport in Donetsk. An Associated Press journalist reports several vehicles carrying heavily armed separatists arriving near the airport, while a separatist leader in the city says his group sent men to the airport after some supporters were detained.

Donetsk media, citing an unnamed health official, says one person has been killed and two others wounded by machine gun fire at the city's main train station.

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163-a-13-(Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian president-elect, at news conference)-"that's the case"-Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko says he intends to bring an end to instability and violence in eastern Ukraine -- and here he uses the Ukrainian word 'donbass,' meaning 'region.' (26 May 2014)

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161-a-18-(Petro Poroshenko (PEHT'-roh poh-roh-SHEHN'-koh), Ukrainian president-elect, at news conference)-"of Russian representative"-Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko says holding high-level talks with Russia is the only way to end the insurgency in eastern Ukraine. (26 May 2014)

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162-a-11-(Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian president-elect, at news conference)-"half of June"-Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko calls for talks with Moscow over the turmoil in eastern Ukraine to begin soon. (26 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XVG112: Pro-Russian gunmen take positions near the airport, outside Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 26, 2014. Ukraine's military launched air strikes Monday against separatists who had taken over the airport in the eastern capital of Donetsk in what appeared to be the most visible operation of the Ukrainian troops since they started a crackdown on insurgents last month. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (26 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XVG107: A pro-Russian gunman changes his position near the airport, outside Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 26, 2014. Ukraine's military launched air strikes Monday against separatists who had taken over the airport in the eastern capital of Donetsk in what appeared to be the most visible operation of the Ukrainian troops since they started a crackdown on insurgents last month. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (26 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XVG104: A pro-Russian gunman aims his weapon near the airport, outside Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 26, 2014. Ukraine's military launched air strikes Monday against separatists who had taken over the airport in the eastern capital of Donetsk in what appeared to be the most visible operation of the Ukrainian troops since they started a crackdown on insurgents last month. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (26 May 2014)

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APPHOTO XVG102: A Ukrainian helicopter gunship flies above areas where pro-Russian militias have taken positions around the airport, outside Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday, May 26, 2014. Ukraine's military launched air strikes Monday against separatists who had taken over the airport in the eastern capital of Donetsk in what appeared to be the most visible operation of the Ukrainian troops since they started a crackdown on insurgents last month. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) (26 May 2014)

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