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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid