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Kremlin says Russia will be forced to protect its citizens in Ukraine's east depending on scale of conflict - TASS

MOSCOW, April 8 (Reuters) - A senior Kremlin official said on Thursday that Russia would be forced to defend its citizens in eastern Ukraine depending on the scale of the military conflict there, the TASS news agency reported on Thursday.

The official, Dmitry Kozak, said that the start of major military action in eastern Ukraine would mark the beginning of the end of Ukraine, TASS said. (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Toby Chopra)