SLOVIANSK, Ukraine, April 23 (UPI) -- Two tortured bodies were found near the city of Sloviansk, prompting Ukrainian authorities to intensify the "anti-terror" operation in the region.
One of the bodies was of Ukrainian parliament member Volodymyr Rybak who disappeared a few days ago. This left acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov with some harsh words for the pro-Russian activists in the region.
"The terrorists who basically have taken the entire Donetsk region hostage have crossed the line with torturing and killing Ukrainian patriots."
As the anti-terror operations continue in an attempt to retake the eastern cities, conversations between the U.S., Russia, and Ukraine continue.
In a phone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he had, "deep concern over the lack of positive Russian steps to de-escalate" and told Russia to, "tone down the escalatory rhetoric [and] engage diplomatically in the east."
Russia continues to blame the violence on Ukraine and says they will respond if Russian interests are attacked.