Pro-Russians storm Ukraine govt buildings

2014-04-06 21:13
(Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

(Nicholas Kamm, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Kiev - Crowds of pro-Russian demonstrators stormed government buildings on Sunday in several major cities in eastern Ukraine, where secessionist sentiment has sparked frequent protests since Ukraine's Russia-friendly president was ousted in February.

In Donetsk, 80km west of the Russian border, a large group of people, including many in masks carrying sticks and stones, 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". Activists in the building said they want to see a referendum for the Donetsk province to join Russia.

An AP photographer reported seeing people bringing car tires to be used as barricades against any presumed attempt by authorities to retake the building.

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.

President Oleksandr Turchinov's office said in a statement he had cancelled a planned visit to Lithuania this week to take personal charge over the situation in eastern Ukraine.

In Luhansk, to the northeast from Donetsk, hundreds of people surrounded the local headquarters of the security service and later scaled the facade to plant a Russian flag on the roof. Ukrainian media reported that demonstrators pelted the building with eggs, and then stones, a smoke grenade and finally a firebomb. The flames were reportedly quickly extinguished.

No heavy-handed measures

A police officer and a demonstrator were injured in the disturbances.

Local media reported similar unrest in Kharkiv, less than an hour's drive from the Russian border.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook account that Russia was to blame for the turbulence.

Russian President Vladimir "Putin and Yanukovych have ordered and financed another round of separatist unrest in the east", he said. "Not many people have gathered, but they are behaving aggressively. In Donetsk, the crowd brought many children and women for the storming. They are provoking a spillover into blood."

Avakov said no heavy-handed measures would be adopted to deal with the unrest.

"The situation will be brought back under control without blood," he said. "The Interior Ministry will not shoot at people, at this gang of paid-up provocateurs. Among the protesters, there are many that have been deceived, many that have been paid."

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 150km 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.

- AP
Read more on:    ukraine  |  ukraine protests
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.