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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends 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.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs