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Ukraine Protesters Call on Russian Peacekeepers

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)



  • Activists waving an old Soviet flag in front of a barricade set up at the regional administration in Donetsk on Monday.
    Photo: Alexander Ermochenko / AP

Anti-government protesters inthe Ukrainian city ofDonetsk onMonday announced areferendum onjoining Russia set forMay 11 andcalled onRussian peacekeepers tointervene inthe country, triggering fears ofa Crimean scenario forUkraines eastern regions.

Themove followed theseizure ofthe regional administration buildings inDonetsk andKharkiv andthe security service building inLuhansk bypro-Russian protesters onSunday. Thetakeovers marked thebiggest success ofpro-Russian activists ina series ofprotests that have shaken eastern Ukraine since pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted inlate February andnew leaders appointed.

Theprotests also come ata time ofheightened tensions between Russia andthe West over what European andU.S. leaders see as Russias illegal seizure ofCrimea, which followed areferendum after appeals forRussian intervention similar tothose now being made inDonetsk, Kharkiv andLuhansk.

While president Vladimir Putin was accused byUkrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov oforchestrating theseparatist unrest inDonetsk, Luhansk andKharkiv, thepresident placed theblame elsewhere.

Addressing Ukrainian andCrimean affairs ata meeting ofthe Federal Security Service onMonday, Putin urged theservice tocrack down onwhat he described as thedestructive activities ofnongovernmental organizations.

This happened inUkraine, when nationalist, neo-Nazi groups andmilitants that were behind theanti-constitutional coup detat were financed fromabroad through nongovernmental organizations, he said.

TheFSB would now face thetask ofpreventing former criminals andrepresentatives ofvarious radical andextremist movements fromgetting intogovernment bodies [in Crimea], he said.

InDonetsk, theprotesters set up apeoples council onMonday that declared thecreation ofa republic ofDonetsk andset areferendum onbecoming independent andjoining Russia. Pro-Russian demonstrators also seized thesecurity service building inthe city onMonday.

InKharkiv, police seized control ofthe regional administration building onMonday morning but some pro-Russian activists remained inside andrefused toleave. Pro-Kiev demonstrators that support Ukraines new government also held arally inthe city but were dispersed bytheir pro-Russian opponents after violent clashes.

Protesters set up barricades inDonetsk, Luhansk andKharkiv, piling up tires andpreparing Molotov cocktails ina fashion similar tothat ofthe anti-Yanukovych protests inKiev earlier this year.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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