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Pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine ignored the government's ultimatum to leave government buildings in the east of the country on Monday. Professor John Langmore from the Melbourne School of Government told ABC News 24 that it was important for both parties to maintain a dialogue if the situation is to be resolved without violent conflict.

Furthermore, he said it was likely that Russian president Vladimir Putin wishes to expand Russian influence in the area, and a pro-Western Ukrainian government in Kiev erodes this.