Separatist unrest spreads in Ukraine; ultimatum ends with no crackdown

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By Thomas Grove and Richard Balmforth SLAVIANSK/KIEV (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists on Monday ignored an ultimatum to leave occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine while another group of rebels attacked a police headquarters as a threatened military offensive by government forces failed to materialize. Rebels in the town of Slaviansk, which was expected on Monday to be the focus of a broad government "anti-terrorist" operation involving the army, issued a bold call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to help them. Ukraine's interim president Oleksander Turchinov said on Monday the offensive would still go ahead. But in a sign of discord behind the scenes in Kiev, he sacked the state security chief in charge of the operation.