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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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