News / Europe

Donetsk Governor Favors Force to Oust Separatists

Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'i
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 18, 2014 10:30 AM
Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Related video report by Henry Ridgwell
Henry Ridgwell
Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region, Serhiy Taruta, is among those forced out by the protesters.
 
Taruta’s former office is now occupied by heavily armed pro-Russian protestors. It is covered in signs saying "No Fascism" and "EU and USA, Hands Off Ukraine."
 
Taruta is trying to govern Donetsk from a nearby hotel.
 
"The biggest shock is that among those people who have taken up arms are gunmen from Russia. They don't even try to hide this fact," he said in interview with VOA, in which he blamed Russia for the protests.
 
Moscow denies that Russian agents are involved.
 
On the barricades there are many women, working men and even children. Governor Taruta accepts that a big part of the population has legitimate concerns.
 
"The events that have been happening in Maidan and afterwards have been taken offensively by the people in Donetsk," he admitted. " From the former president at the top down to the ministers, the government was made up of people from the Donetsk region. And in their understanding, the fight against the old powers was a fight against them."
 
Ukraine's military has begun what it calls an "anti-terror operation" against the protesters. Serhiy Taruta said it will be a delicate operation.
 
"Of course the ones who are not armed shouldn't be approached by army tanks," he said. "You need to talk to those people. But they also need to be willing to participate in dialogue. Because if they don't want dialogue, that means they are working for a different scenario."
 
A steel magnate worth an estimated $2 billion, Serhiy Taruta was installed as governor in March by the new powers in Kyiv.
 
He owns a Donetsk football club. He said he knows the people, and thinks the majority do not want Donetsk to become part of Russia.
 
"They really want people in the Donetsk region to live a better life," Taruta said. "We are establishing a dialogue with them and we are meeting them in this hotel to persuade them that we are unified in this opinion. We also want to have a referendum on the important questions about our territory.  But this does not include the unity of the country."
 
He insists the armed separatists who are refusing dialogue with the government must be taken on with force.
 
"There are no other options when they are seizing the security institutions of the country. I don't think any other nation would allow its military to be attacked," he noted. "And in this case the military is showing great restraint to avoid an even bigger mess."
 
From a hotel room in Donetsk, Governor Taruta is faced with the challenge of preventing the break-up of Ukraine -- but his first task is to try to reclaim his office - which is currently flying the colors of Russia.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
April 18, 2014 10:08 AM
Governor Taruta forgets, that the US, EU, and NATO condemned the use of force against the neo-Nazi, Right Sector, and ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremists, that ended up ousting the democratic elected President, the Parliament, and the government of Ukraine, hasn't he? -- (AND NOW?) -- he recommends using deadly force against those citizens who oppose these neo-Nazi, Right Sector, ultra-right-wing extremists who seized the legally elected Ukraine government by force? -- Is he with the neo-Nazi, Right Sector, and ultra-right-wing extremists, or with the citizens who had their elected government seized from them? -- Taruta should go to Kiev and work for a new constitution for Ukraine, on what he just spoke of, shouldn't he?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs