News / Europe

In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadowsi
X
April 14, 2014 2:12 AM
Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.

In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Henry Ridgwell
Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention.  Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents.

In the middle of a pro-Russian crowd gathered in Donetsk, Kolya - a young man barely out of his teens - is trying to go unnoticed.  It is not easy.

He is holding up a digital camera that’s live-streaming the event to a pro-Ukrainian website, so that fellow anti-Russian activists can monitor what is happening.  Kolya manages to infiltrate inside the barricades.  It is a dangerous game, but he emerges unscathed.

Later, Kolya demonstrates the radio app on the same device that like-minded activists use to coordinate their actions. “It is how we find guys who want to be in Ukraine ... who want to defend the Donetsk region from Russian occupation,” he explained.

In Donetsk, Orthodox priests are putting themselves on the frontline.

On a central intersection, below monuments bearing old Soviet emblems, they fly the blue and yellow Ukrainian colors and hold hourly prayers for national unity. In a city elsewhere adorned with Russian insignia, it is a brave stance.

Pietro Matyshenko, a priest from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchy, said they are in constant danger. “At first we began praying in the central Lenin Square in Donetsk, but we were attacked with bats and stones,” he said. “Still people are aggressive and evil, and they come here to try to destroy the tent.”

Inside a café overlooking the intersection, pro-unity activists gather to watch over the priests’ tent.  In hushed tones, they plot how to respond to the pro-Russian uprisings.

Sergiy Yeryiomin is head of the council of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Self-Defense Force. “What could happen is a full civil war, with a resistance movement,” Yeryiomin said. “People would not stay silent to Russian intervention.  They would have problems here, it would not be like in Crimea.”

Pro-unity demonstrators are trying to counter their pro-Russian opponents.  Hundreds turned out for a rally in Donetsk Saturday, linking hands along one of the main roads in a sign of unity linking east and west - an act repeated in cities across the country.

“East and west are together,” says this woman.  “I want Ukraine to be a free and independent.  We Ukrainians are all brothers,” said one protester.

In Donetsk, there are plenty who would disagree.  So far the two sides have stayed apart.  Both are preparing for conflict.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: marshall from: boston,usa
April 16, 2014 10:07 AM
i see why someone would outright ban this station.propaganda od the finest order.anti russian activists? you mean nato butt kissing neo nazi party , for they are the only ones opposing protesters in south and eastern ukraine.hundreds of anti russian protesters ? show us some pictures of those " anti russian " protesters , thats all a bunch of bologni .these peacefull protesters in south-east of ukraine understand the threat posed by nato trying to muscle its way into ukraine and set up shop on russias borders and they pretty much all agree. NO NATO IN EASTERN UKRAINE.. PERIOD.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid