Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Pro-Russian activists clash with police at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 6, 2014. In Donetsk a large group of people surged into the provincial government building and smashed windows. A gathering of several hundred, many of them waving Russian flags, then listened to speeches delivered from a balcony emblazoned with a banner reading “Donetsk Republic.” (AP Photo/Andrey Basevich)
Pro-Russians storm Ukraine government buildings
First Published Apr 06 2014 06:01 pm • Last Updated Apr 06 2014 06:01 pm

Kiev, Ukraine • Crowds of pro-Russian demonstrators stormed government buildings Sunday in several major cities in eastern Ukraine, where secessionist sentiment has sparked frequent protests since Ukraine’s Russia-friendly president was ousted in February.

In Donetsk, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the Russian border, a large group of people, including many in masks carrying sticks and stones, surged into the provincial government building and smashed windows.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

A gathering of several hundred, many of them waving Russian flags, then listened to speeches delivered from a balcony emblazoned with a banner reading "Donetsk Republic." Activists in the building said they want to see a referendum for the Donetsk province to join Russia.

An AP photographer reported seeing people bringing car tires to be used as barricades against any presumed attempt by authorities to retake the building.

Eastern Ukraine was the heartland of support for Viktor Yanukovych, the president who fled to Russia in February after months of protests. About half of the region’s residents are ethnic Russians, many of whom believe Ukraine’s acting authorities are Ukrainian nationalists who will oppress Russians.

Ukraine’s interim authorities deny they are infringing the rights of the ethnic Russian population and accuse Moscow of trying to sow instability. Russia has moved large contingents of troops to areas near the Ukrainian border, and speculation is strong that unrest in eastern Ukraine could be used as a pretext for a Russian incursion.

Since Crimea held a referendum to secede and then was annexed by Russia in March, calls for similar referenda in Ukraine’s east have emerged.

President Oleksandr Turchinov’s office said in a statement he had canceled a planned visit to Lithuania this week to take personal charge over the situation in eastern Ukraine.

In Luhansk, to the northeast from Donetsk, hundreds of people surrounded the local headquarters of the security service and later scaled the facade to plant a Russian flag on the roof. Ukrainian media reported that demonstrators pelted the building with eggs, and then stones, a smoke grenade and finally a firebomb. The flames were reportedly quickly extinguished.

A police officer and a demonstrator were injured in the disturbances.


story continues below
story continues below

Local media reported similar unrest in Kharkiv, less than an hour’s drive from the Russian border.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook account that Russia was to blame for the turbulence.

Russian President Vladimir "Putin and Yanukovych have ordered and financed another round of separatist unrest in the east," he said. "Not many people have gathered, but they are behaving aggressively. In Donetsk, the crowd brought many children and women for the storming. They are provoking a spillover into blood."

Avakov said no heavy-handed measures would be adopted to deal with the unrest.

"The situation will be brought back under control without blood," he said. "The Interior Ministry will not shoot at people, at this gang of paid-up provocateurs. Among the protesters, there are many that have been deceived, many that have been paid."

On Saturday, Ukraine’s security service said it had detained a 15-strong armed gang planning to seize power in Luhansk province.

The Security Service of Ukraine said it seized 300 machine guns, an antitank grenade launcher, a large number of grenades, five handguns and firebombs.

It said the group intended to mount a grab for power. No names or additional details were provided.

Also Sunday, authorities in Ukraine said they found the body of a kidnapped journalist who played an active role in protests that led to Yanukovych’s ouster. The body was found in a forest about 150 kilometers (60 miles) outside the capital, Kiev.

Cherkassk province prosecutors said Vasily Sergiyenko was abducted in his home city of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi on Friday evening and later murdered. The nationalist Svoboda party, of which Sergiyenko was a member, said the reporter was found with stab wounds and signs of beatings to his head and knees.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.