'Battle' for Ukraine, climate change report and Mo Farah's marathon vow in papers

Pro-Russian activists guard police station in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk Image copyright Getty Images

Events in Ukraine are back on the front pages after pro-Russian separatists seized government buildings in the east of the country.

Violent struggles have led to rising tensions between the West and the Kremlin and fears Moscow is planning to extend its recent annexation of Crimea to other areas where Russian is widely spoken, says the Times.

As Ukraine deployed troops in an "anti-terrorist operation", Kim Sengupta in the Independent says the West has accused Moscow of orchestrating an upheaval which threatens to tear apart the security consensus established at the end of the Cold War.

In an editorial, the Independent says Russian President Vladimir Putin is "acting with tactical slickness but strategic folly in Ukraine" and the international community's words must reflect a recognition that what he is attempting has no justification.

The Guardian sees the crisis as having "escalated dramatically", while Ian Birrell in the Daily Mail describes the events over the weekend as the "long-dreaded moment".

The Daily Telegraph wonders what Mr Putin "hopes to gain", suggesting he "seems to be in no mood to back down".

But the Financial Times does not see evidence of "stage two in a piecemeal annexation". It says Moscow appears to be intent on weakening the government in Kiev ahead of its participation in talks scheduled for later in the week.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror says Russia will continue destabilising Ukraine until the West looks beyond its own financial self-interest and impose sanctions that "bite".

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Image caption There's universal agreement that Sunday's speculation the Duchess of Cambridge might be pregnant again was quashed when she tasted wine and took a speedboat ride during her visit to New Zealand

'Bored of lectures'

A UN report on tackling climate change that calls for fossil fuels to be phased out, and replaced with a massive increase in renewable sources of energy, is examined.

The Guardian sees the message from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as the start of a "long and essential journey". Damian Carrington writes: "By starting right now... not only do you ensure you arrive at your destination - a safer world - but you also get the cheapest ticket."

The Independent says there is a danger people are becoming "bored of being lectured" about climate change. It says the IPCC's suggested trebling of investment in renewable energy over the next 35 years is a "tall order" but not impossible, given political will.

The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail both pick up on a suggestion in the report that fracking for shale gas could play a part in helping countries move away from the use of fossil fuels as renewable energy areas such as wind, solar and hydroelectric power are expanded.

The method of extracting gas reserves has sparked protests in the UK amid fears of water pollution and environmental damage. The Sun says in an editorial it is "somewhat odd" but "most welcome" to see it cited in the IPCC report even though it does not believe many minds will be changed.

'Sensitive issue'

Proposals from the chancellor plan to give the HM Revenue & Customs new powers to clamp down on £10bn of tax evasion and avoidance are to face scrutiny from the Commons Treasury Committee, says the Financial Times on its front page. The committee's chairman, Andrew Tyrie, cites concerns that the move could hit civil liberties, "the essential balance between the powers that HMRC needs and protecting individuals".

The Daily Telegraph says Liberal Democrat plans to build three new garden cities on countryside between Oxford and Cambridge will put pressure on David Cameron to match the housing commitment of his coalition partners. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is to outline his vision for thousands of new homes. While the Tories have backed a new garden city on industrial land in Kent, they are said to fear further building could alienate its voters, says the paper.

Meanwhile, the Independent says Labour faces the "very difficult minefield" of seeing Sir John Chilcot's Iraq war inquiry report published close to the general election. The report is being delayed over the disclosure of classified documents and former Labour minister Lord Mandelson has acknowledged the war remained a "sensitive issue". However, a party source quoted by the newspaper says Mr Miliband could also use it to distance himself from previous Labour administrations.

'Not a Mobot moment'

The appearance of Britain's 10,000 and 5,000 metre Olympic Gold medallist Mo Farah in the London Marathon - his first competitive run over the distance - proved a huge draw for spectators.

But the Daily Star is among the papers to report Farah's disappointment after failing to live up to his tag as one of the bookies' favourites.

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He crossed the line in eighth place in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 21 seconds - four minutes behind winner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya - and talk of the consolation of him breaking the British record also fell by the wayside.

Most first-time marathon runners find the gruelling 26.2 mile course tougher than they imagined and it seems Mo Farah is no exception, says the Daily Telegraph.

But it notes his vow: "I will be back. I think it's a matter of experience and learning."

"Farah's frustration was understandable given the 31-year-old has tasted such remarkable success on the track over the past three years," writes Laura Williamson in the Daily Mail.

She says there is no questioning Farah's desire to meet a challenge, but reckons he must now look to assess the event that gives him the best possible chance of claiming another gold at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.

"Mo mania could be seen everywhere," writes Alexandra Topping in the Guardian.

"While he may not have had the chance to perform his trademark 'Mobot' gesture, hundreds of his fans did not hold back every time his grimaced face appeared" on big screens along the route, she added.

The Times says the Mo Farah fans were more than compensated by some glorious spring weather and a "reliably eclectic selection" of fun runners. They included charity fundraiser Tony Phoenix-Morrison - carrying a 40kg fridge - "alongside the usual gorillas, rhinos and cartoon characters".

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