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Pro-Russia protesters storm government buildings in eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russia protesters storm government buildings in eastern Ukraine

Another excuse for Putin to intervene?

Pro-Russia protesters stormed government buildings in several eastern Ukrainian cities Sunday, further inflaming tensions there.

From CNN:

Demonstrators stormed a provincial administration building in eastern Ukraine on Sunday and raised the Russian flag atop it, demanding the release of riot police accused of killing protesters in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in February.

Police were negotiating with the demonstrators, who have called for supporters to rally around the Regional Security Administration building in Donetsk, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) from the Russian border. Video of the negotiations was being streamed live online by local news outlets.

The protest is the latest challenge to Ukraine’s embattled new government, which took power after a revolt that toppled pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February. There was no immediate response to the seizure from top officials in Kiev, where the jailed police are accused of killing protesters during the uprising against Yanukovych.

Similar incidents were also reported in Kharkiv and Luhansk, according to the BBC.

Reuters reports that Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovich of agitating the actions.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said police would restore order in both cities without recourse to violence. He accused Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, whose political base was in Donetsk, of conspiring with Putin to fuel tensions.

“Putin and Yanukovich ordered and paid for the latest wave of separatist disorder in the east of the country. The people who have gathered are not many but they are very aggressive,” Avakov said in a statement on his Facebook page.

“The situation will come back under control without bloodshed. That is the order to law enforcement officers, it’s true. But the truth is that no one will peacefully tolerate the lawlessness of provocateurs,” he said.

Meanwhile, the acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchinov, has canceled a planned trip to Lithuania, where he was expected to meet with speakers from European Union states.  Instead, he will hold an emergency meeting with the heads of security services in response to the protests, a separate Reuters report indicated.

Video report from CNN below.

[Featured image: Reuters video via CNN]

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Comments

Considering the west’s response to the S̶u̶d̶e̶n̶t̶e̶n̶l̶a̶n̶d̶ Crimea
crises, should this surprise anyone ?

Santayana must be spinning in his grave.

This morning, Chris Wallace on Fox Sunday spoke with former CIA and NSA Director, Gen Michael Hayden. The question of a Ukraine invasion came up. Hayden said it wouldn’t happen. So based on the CIA’s terrible track record of predicting events,
Russian troops should be in Kiev in a few weeks.

    Kiev’s a booby prize and there’s no reason Putin should want to try and keep tens of millions of unfriendly Ukrainians down with what, at best, tens of thousands of troops thus prevented from deploying to future trouble spots? Taking what you can’t keep gets people into a lot of trouble. He knows this, and besides, Ukraine needs tens of billions just to keep the lights on.

      Subotai Bahadur in reply to JBourque. | April 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

      1) Russian conquest of the Ukraine voids Ukraine’s past debts, which would at that point not be Russia’s problems, other than those owed to Russia. Which would be a pretty good trade off for conquest of the country.

      2) Russia has history and precedent in handling Ukrainian hostility. It involves mass murder and looting the country. If they take that route, there is no one who will say “boo” to them.

      3) The conquest of the Ukraine will make further conquests both easier and more likely. Right now, no one in their right mind believes that the current US government will fulfill their treaty commitments to defend any ally. The Baltic Republics and Poland are on their own, despite NATO and know it. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines are realizing their bilateral treaties will not be honored. The only defense any of them can have will be the development of their own counter-value WMD deterrent.

      4) One of the basic tenets of deterrent theory is Mutual Assured Destruction. If the Ukraine is resolute enough to adopt such, they currently have the basis for a successful deterrent that will also do the otherwise impossible; convince the Europeans to stand with Ukraine.

inspectorudy | April 6, 2014 at 7:49 pm

If Hollywood used this, invading to save “Our People”, as a plot for one of their anti-American action movies no one would buy it. Hitler used this ruse in the 30’s and it was obviously bogus then. Now it looks as stupid as a Knock Knock joke.

BannedbytheGuardian | April 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Quietly flows the Don . Russia will get the east when Ukraine falls apart. . After 22 years there is not one sign that Kiev can manage the country.

An influx of imf & eu money will be greatly enjoyed by the Kleptocrats whereas the peoppe will be forced to pay 300- 500% for gas .. More. if itis taken from West storeage & piped eastward .

    $1 billion in aid? That is a rounding error in Hillary’s State Department missing money machine.

    And it all goes to foreign bankers. Nothing here to shore up the Ukraine populace.

    Exactly. Come May 1, austerity will kick in. By fall, the increase in consumer gas prices will become painful.
    Putin is a lot of things, but stupid is not one of them. Ukraine will fall under his boot, piece by piece.
    Ukrainian media is all abuzz about whether or not they have enough bomb shelters in Kyiv. Fools. They will end up with egg on their face.

There was a near-riot in Odessa last weekend (see here: http://grahamwphillips.com/2014/03/31/odessa-conflict-march-30th/), general strike called up for tomorrow.
Odessa region is strategically important because it’s another warm water port. It’s next to Moldova, too. It’s been historically culturally important for Russians. It;s no longer majority ethnic Russian, but still rusophone. NATO is supposed to have some kind of exercises in Odessa region.

Which was preceded by pro-European protesters, backed by American and European interests.

This crisis is entirely the making of the US and EU, who together supported, if not actually engineered, an anti-democratic coup d’etat that overthrew the legitimate and freely elected government of the Ukraine. Putin is entirely correct in labeling the coup leaders fascists. If they were democrats they would have waited until the next election and then voted Yanukovych and his party out of office. The coup leaders control Kiev and probably the western part of the Ukraine, the east not so much. It is also debatable whether they have majority support. This won’t be known until the up-coming elections. The elections are likely to divide the country into a pro-coup west and an anti-coup east, just like the last elections.

Putin’s solution of a nonaligned, federal Ukraine is clearly correct. Absorbing Ukraine into NATO is an existential threat to Russia and might provide an European war. A federal Ukraine would protect the rights of the ethnic Russians in the east. You might recall that immediately after the coup, the coup leaders moved to eliminate Russian as one of Ukraine’s official languages and made many threats against ethnic Russian.

The bad guys here are Obama, Cameron, Hollande and Merkel; the good guy here is Putin. Putin is also the only rational actor in this mess. Obama et al are delusional and aggressive in the extreme. They have created a very dangerous situation.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the US and its European allies have felt free to run amok, violently attacking other countries, overthrowing governments and fomenting unrest in much of the world: Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Tunisia, Libya Egypt, Syria, Ukraine. It cannot go unnoticed by Russia that many of these countries are or once were Russian allies. One does not have to be paranoid to see a pattern.

Right now an immense Evil squats in Washington. The Evil is not merely Obama, he is merely its temporary leader. The Evil consists of the entire Washington establishment, every singly member of it, elected, appointed and civil service, all three branches. This Evil claims the right to and has murdered American citizens without any pretense at a judicial process. It kills on the suggestion of a secret Star Chamber. The Evil also asserts the right to spy on everyone, American and foreigners, despite clear Constitutional prohibitions against such actions. And our utterly corrupt courts, including the corrupt Supreme Court allow the murders and the searches.

America today is an aggressive, rogue, terrorist state, and it is the chief source of violence and unrest in the world. Only Islam comes close to what the Evil does.

    I don’t see an awful lot of good guys here.
    Ukrainian revolution was not supported by a clear majority, and the Nazis, who played a prominent role in it, were put in positions of power in which they’d never find themselves otherwise.
    You said that Ukrainians should had waited for an election, and I agree. But note, free and fair elections are (or were) actually possible in Ukraine, which is more than you can say about Russia. By Russian standards, Putin is a fairly benign ruler, but what’s going to come after him? I don’t think it’s especially wise to “reunify” with Russia.
    I seriously doubt that the US and the EU actually engineered Maidan because destabilization of Ukraine is not in our interest. Ukraine had a revolution because it’s a failed state. It fell on our lap, and we initially didn’t know what to do about it.
    Some kind of federalization would actually be beneficial to the West as well because we can’t absorb Ukraine.
    I’m also concerned about encroachments on civil liberties, but your assertion that the United States is second only to Islam in evil is over the top.

    Kozak in reply to bob sykes. | April 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Paranoid much, Bob? Vote Yanukovych out? That’s ludicrous. He would have had months more to manipulate things and ensure his own reelection. No chance that vote would have been legit.

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