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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 Ukraines Berkut special police force in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Pro-Kremlin demonstrators, who staged a rally in support of Ukraines 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 Fyodorovs 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 Russias 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. Its 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

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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