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Pro-Russians Storm Ukraine Government Buildings

rCrowds of pro-Russian demonstrators stormed government buildings Sunday in two major cities in eastern Ukraine, where secessionist sentiment has sparked frequent protests since Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president was ousted in February.

In Luhansk, 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of the Russian border, hundreds of people surrounded the local headquarters of the security service and later scaled the facade to plant a Russian flag on the roof.

In Donetsk, to the southwest, a large group of people surged into the provincial government building and smashed windows. A gathering of several hundred, many of them waving Russian flags, then listened to speeches delivered from a balcony emblazoned with a banner reading “Donetsk Republic.”

Eastern Ukraine was the heartland of support for Viktor Yanukovych, the president who fled to Russia in February after months of protests. About half of the region’s residents are ethnic Russians, many of whom believe Ukraine’s acting authorities are Ukrainian nationalists who will oppress Russians.

Ukraine’s interim authorities deny they are infringing the rights of the ethnic Russian population and accuse Moscow of trying to sow instability. Russia has moved large contingents of troops to areas near the Ukrainian border, and speculation is strong that unrest in eastern Ukraine could be used as a pretext for a Russian incursion.

Since Crimea held a referendum to secede and then was annexed by Russia in March, calls for similar referenda in Ukraine’s east have emerged.

On Saturday, Ukraine’s security service said it had detained a 15-strong armed gang planning to seize power in Luhansk province.

The Security Service of Ukraine said it seized 300 machine guns, an antitank grenade launcher, a large number of grenades, five handguns and firebombs.

It said the group intended to mount a grab for power. No names or additional details were provided.

Also Sunday, authorities in Ukraine said they found the body of a kidnapped journalist who played an active role in protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster. The body was found in a forest about 150 kilometers (60 miles) outside the capital, Kiev.

Cherkassk province prosecutors said Vasily Sergiyenko was abducted in his home city of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi on Friday evening and later murdered. The nationalist Svoboda party, of which Sergiyenko was a member, said the reporter was found with stab wounds and signs of beatings to his head and knees.


8 Responses

  1. Guess who’s stirring up the trouble? We already know Putin’s broad game plan. We also know the kind of friends he keeps – personal, political and other states. He intends to roll back Europe and the world to the bad old days of Russian subjugation and despotism. I don’t think most Russians have ever experienced or understood a free democracy.

  2. #1, many Russians perceive the Western democracy as freedom for mishkav-zochurniks and practitioners of other types of immorality.

  3. Most (= around 80%)believe what their tightly controlled media tell them, which is nothing to do with truth. Russia has no problem squandering the liberties and even the lives of millions os its subjects to pursue its ends. Whatever criticisms can be laid against the West (which are not insignificant) no western government would survive if it treated its people like the Russians do.

  4. mdd (#2) +1. Well said.

    Ukraine is now ruled by some tyrants who initiated a coup de’tat and overthrew the elected President of Ukraine.

  5. #4 It’s surprising you refuse to recognise Russia’s hand in this. First time Yanukovych was openly supported by Moscow and the polls totally rigged. Even Russia had to accept the Orange Revolution. Then Yanukovych made a comeback, but he tried to distance himself from Russia by approaching the EU. Putin pulled his strings and stopped that. But thousands of ordinary people were enraged at Russia’s meddling. Yanukovych lost control and ran for his life. He was not overthrown: he lost control and ran. The interim replacements are precisely NOT tyrants because they organised elections. I understand Putin is upset because he temporarily lost control of the situation. He’s already stated his aims and red lines. These are dangerous and ultimately self-destructive. You’ll see.

  6. No, #5, Yanukovich was overthrown by the Maiden mob who shot at his vehicle and tried to murder the democratically elected president. This was after they broke their signed agreement that he will hold office until early elections in December — a compromise he agreed to and the Maiden opposition signed.

    Putin is no democrat. But in this case he is correct. He will use his hidden hand to destabilize this new illegitimate Ukrainian government and their wont be a thing the West can do to stop him in his own backyard.

  7. The “agreement” never saw the light of day – it was botul m’ikoro! Also, Russia refused to sign and then complains it wasn’t upheld. If you actually lived in Europe and went regularly to Ukraine and remembered what Russia did in Germany, Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, you’d understand that Putin is behaving like a Soviet dictator. The West can actually hit his economy and his rich cronies. He will eventually fall. If he’s lucky he’ll die in his bed.

  8. The agreement was signed by both sides in the Ukrainian confflict. The Maiden and anti-Maiden sides in Ukraine both signed. Russia’s signature wasn’t needed. It was binding on the signatories. Then the Maiden side violated the agreement they signed hours earlier and overthrew the democratically elected President and threatened his life with guns and commited a coup de’tat.

    And don’t forget how throughout history, tach vtat, Chelmenski, Ukrainian Cossacks, pograms, local Ukrainian population helping Nazis commit genocide against the Jews, Ukrainians have been the worst murderous anti-Semites.

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