News / Europe

Pro-Russia Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatum

Pro-Russian Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatumi
X
Henry Ridgwell
April 15, 2014 10:21 AM
Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine stormed another police station Monday, as they continued to defy a government deadline to vacate occupied buildings in exchange for amnesty. Ukraine’s president has called for UN peacekeepers to help with an anti-terror operation against the separatists. Henry Ridgwell reports from the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian Demonstrators Defy Ukraine's Ultimatum

Henry Ridgwell
Pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine stormed another police station Monday as they continued to defy a government deadline to vacate occupied buildings in exchange for amnesty. Ukraine’s president has called for U.N. peacekeepers to help in an anti-terror operation against the separatists.

Monday was meant to signal the start of the Kyiv government’s military assault. Instead, the pro-Russian protesters gained more ground, smashing their way into the police headquarters in the city of Horlivka near Donetsk.

One Western journalist was attacked - the latest in a series of incidents involving foreign media.

Later, the pro-Russian gunmen declared that the police had switched sides.

An unnamed gunman announced that “All the heads of regional administrations [in the east] have switched to the side of the people and refused to recognize the government in Kyiv."

In Slovyansk, heavily armed gunmen seized a nearby airfield, which they claim had been used by government forces Sunday.

The head of the self-proclaimed Slovyansk Self-Defense Force, Vyacheslav Ponomarev, appealed to Moscow for help.

"Respected president of the Russian Federation,” he said, “we urge you to personally pay attention to the current situation and help us as your powers and possibilities permit.”

Western governments say Russia already is behind the protests. Military observers say the protesters’ modern weaponry is identical to that used by the Russian military.

Moscow denies involvement.

In Kyiv, frustrated Ukrainians took to the streets to demand the government take action against separatists in the east.

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov questioned police loyalty.

“Today they are demonstrating an inability to defend citizens, and actively withstanding the terrorism and separatist movement,” he said.

However, the president held out the possibility of holding a referendum on Ukraine’s future.

That apparent concession emboldened protesters in the eastern city of Donetsk. On stage, speakers demanded a referendum while some in the crowd answered with chants of ‘Russia.’ But within the protest movement, there are disagreements.

Local resident Dima welcomed the possibility of a referendum.

“I want the referendum," he said.  "Everyone should be asked how they want to live.  Personally, I want to live in Russia.”

Another Donetsk resident, Anatoli Bitavych, disagreed.

“I would vote to stay in Ukraine," he said. "I want to live in Ukraine, but to be separated from the center and the west.”

Talk of a referendum may help to de-escalate the situation.

But as protesters occupy more state buildings, the authority of the Kyiv government in eastern Ukraine appears to be weakening by the day.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jeremy
April 14, 2014 5:43 PM
Lady, if you want to live in Russia, MOVE TO RUSSIA. Don't try to bring Russia to you.

In Response

by: cc from: moscow
April 16, 2014 9:20 AM
Dear Jeremy! Just imagine the situation: say, you live in some Idaho (or elsewhere) and some... say... Mexicans or Israeli come to the state and demand: "This state belongs to us now. You may stay. If you still want to be American - leave your home, your house, your job, your friends and go to a state which is still American!" Will you? If you were born and have spent your life there, will you then? And suddenly you understand that in Idaho there are 1000 more people who want to remain Americans and don't want to leave their homes - what will you do altohether? Won't you protest?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid