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Ukrainian Unrest Sparks Demonstrations, Violence

At the rally, one speaker denounced the Ukrainian protesters and Russian NGOs as U.S. agents.

Published: February 5, 2014 (Issue # 1796)



  • Protesters at a rally in support of Ukraine’s Berkut special police force in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Pro-Kremlin demonstrators, who staged a rally in support of Ukraine’s Berkut special police force and against alleged U.S. involvement in the Euromaidan protests on Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa on Sunday, attacked a journalist as she tried to interview the participants.

Anastasia Mironova, a reporter with Ekho Peterburga, the local branch of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, was punched in the face as the demonstrators accused her of being a traitor and a foreign spy, according to the Ekho Peterburga website. The website did not refer to the reporter by name, but it was disclosed by other local media outlets.

About 25 people were present at the authorized rally headlined “Berkut, Russia is with you,” organized by State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorov’s National Liberation Movement (NOD).

Fyodorov is a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, while his movement is set to back President Vladimir Putin as Russia’s “national leader” similar to Alexander Nevsky and Giuseppe Garibaldi and oppose what he calls the U.S. occupation of Russia.

His official website claims that Russia has been a U.S. colony since it was defeated in the 40-year war against the U.S. in 1991, had its constitution written by Americans and since then has paid a levy of $1 billion a day to the U.S.

At the rally, one speaker denounced the Ukrainian protesters and Russian NGOs as U.S. agents, warned about an impending world war, and praised the Berkut police for defending the Ukrainian people from foreign aggression. At one stage, he pointed at journalists and said to his supporters, “Look at the photographers taking pictures. It’s clear whom they work for by their typical behavior.”

The participants held flags and placards reading, “Berkut, Russia is with you,” “March of liberation. The time has come to liberate the country again,” “Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have been a single country for centuries” and “Hands off Ukraine, State Department.”

The conflict started when the participants got hold of a large amount of brochures about corruption related to the Olympic Games in Sochi. Co-written by opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, the brochures were distributed by liberal activists on Nevsky Prospekt, close to the location of the rally.

Participants of the pro-Berkut rally began to destroy the brochures and attacked Mironova when she asked where they had taken the materials from, according to the Ekho Peterburga website. The demonstrators knocked a camera from the hands of the reporter who was recording the event and then punched her in the eye, it reported.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Jan. 25


Get out your running shoes for the 46th International Road of Life Marathon. Dedicated to the end of the blockade, three runs are offered — 5, 21 and 42 kilometer runs — starting in different places outside the city. Busses leave from 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhny at 8 a.m. but check complete details and registration fees on www.newrunners.ru/race/doroga-zhizni-2015



If you are planning a wedding, head over to the Azimut Hotel, 43/1 Lermontovsky Prospekt from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day includes live music, free dance classes and vendors selling wedding dresses, accessories, cakes and services to help make your special day perfect. Admission is free.



Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.







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