Russian President Vladimir Putin warned western leaders Thursday of a potential shutoff of natural gas supplies unless Ukraine pays off the billions it owes for Russian gas. There are alternatives to Russian gas, but the cutoff Putin threatens is a worst-case scenario for Ukraine and broader Europe.
Russia's plans to build a natural gas pipeline that bypasses Ukraine to the south is in doubt as the standoff between Russia and Ukraine continues to escalate.
Kiev gave protesters in the east 48 hours to come to the table. But in both Donetsk and Luhansk, armed demonstrators remained behind their barricades.