News / Europe

    Pro-Russian Protesters in Eastern Ukraine Seize Weapons

    Pro-Russia protesters (R) scuffle with the police near the regional government building in Donetsk, April 6, 2014.
    Pro-Russia protesters (R) scuffle with the police near the regional government building in Donetsk, April 6, 2014.
    VOA News
    Pro-Russian protesters who broke into state security headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk have seized weapons and road police have closed down entrances into the city, local police said on Monday.
              
    "Unknown people who are in the building have broken into the building's arsenal and have seized weapons," police said in a statement.
              
    Separately, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page that the regional administrative building in another eastern city, Kharkiv, had been cleared of "separatist" protesters.
               
    In Donetsk Sunday, a large group of people pushed into the regional government building, barricaded the doors, and hung a Russian flag from a window. Hundreds of protesters thronged in the city square below, cheering when those inside the building tossed a Ukrainian flag out the window.  
     
    A spokesman for Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchnyov, said he canceled a trip to Lithuania Sunday and called an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Kyiv because of the protests.

    Ukraine's interior minister, Arsen Avakov, posted a message on social media accusing Russia's President Vladimir Putin and former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych of instigating and financing the latest protests.
     
    Russia last month annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine a controversial regional referendum declared the territory’s independent from Ukraine and paved the way to its absorption by Russian Federation.

    Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU have declared the vote illegal as have most countries in the United Nations General Assembly.
     
    On Friday, British Foreign Minister William Hague said Europe should continue its "strong and united" response to Russia's escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. He said there has only been a "token withdrawal" of troops massed near the Ukrainian border, whose presence has raised fears of a Russian invasion.
     
    Western nations have already adopted sanctions against Russia because of its annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
     
    Russia moved into the peninsula early last month following the ouster of Ukraine's Moscow-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych.  He fled after weeks of opposition protests calling for him to step down.

    Some information in this report contributed by Reuters.

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    Comments
         
    by: fixento from: USA
    April 07, 2014 4:53 PM
    The White House did not see the president of the Ukraine being ousted, they did see Crimea voting 94 percent to join Russia and they have intelligence on a crowd of protesters? The same White House that gave the Brotherhood of Muslims 250 million dollars that are now classified as terrorists just two months before the Egyptian uprising and they have intelligence on a crown of protesters in the Ukraine! We're doomed we have a court of fools and king of jesters in the White House.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 07, 2014 11:32 AM
    If only the US and EU hadn't rushed and recognized the neo-Nazi, Right Sector, and other ultra-right-wing Ukraine extremists, that ousted the legally elected President, the Parliament, and seized the Democratic elected government of Ukraine by force? IF only the US and EU had told these ultra-right-wing extremists, that they wouldn't recognize this unlawful seizure of the Ukraine government, (instead of embracing them), for overturning and denying the Ukrainians voters their wishes. If only the US and EU had done the right thing, instead of trying to pull a Kosovo, on the Ukrainians? . If only the US and EU had stuck to the "EU deal" that Yanukovych had signed and that the EU had endorsed? .... (None of this would've happened, and those new Democratic elections would've been a reality in 90 days) ... (NOW?) .. Thank the US and EU for this mess.
    In Response

    by: goodbill from: Russia
    April 07, 2014 4:52 PM
    The Neo-Nazi and Right-Sector argument has been debunked, that community that sought to take advantage of greater democratic and political opportunities were arrested or killed by anti-terrorism police from Kyiv, hardly the opposition or protestors that were murdered by Russian special forces.

    And pull a Kosovo? Are you suggesting that Russia or the Russian puppets that were in Kyiv were murdering and committing mass genocide? Because yes, yes they were and continue to incite such violence through this useless propaganda.

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