Ukrainian coup-imposed authorities have their hands full with various problems. The country’s eastern regions remain in turmoil, with protesters demanding autonomy from the capital, and economic perils are aggravated by an imminent gas debt crisis.
Sunday, April 13
A special operation against protesters in Donetsk region may start as soon as tonight, acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine, Valentin Nalivaichenko has said on “1+1” local channel. The “full-scale operation” will involve “serious engagement of military forces, anti-terrorist forces and law enforcement of Ukraine”
The pro-federalization protesters have taken over the city council in the town of Makeevka in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region.
According to ITAR-TASS news agency, the seizure of the government building went on peacefully, with no reports of clashes.
The reserve battalion of the National Guard has come on combat duty in the east of Ukraine, which is gripped by anti-Kiev protests.
“The battalion consists of 350 reservists,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.
The Ukrainian National guard was organized shortly after the February’s coup in order to legalize the militants, which took part in the Maidan standoff.
Events in south-eastern Ukraine have taken a very dangerous turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Moscow slammed Sunday’s order, issued by the coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov approving a full-scale security operation in the country’s eastern regions, as “criminal”.
“We demand the Maidan henchmen, who overthrew the legitimate president, to immediately stop the war against their own people, to fulfill all the obligations under the Agreement of 21 February,” the Foreign Ministry said.
It depends on the West now to stop the civil war in Ukraine, the ministry stressed.
“The Russian side calls the UN Security Council and the OSCE to urgently consider the crisis in south-east Ukraine,” Moscow concluded.
Over 1, 000 people have gathered in central Slavyansk to protest for the federalization of Ukraine. They demand holding a referendum and to stop pressure on Donbas from Kiev. Protesters are chanting “Glory to Donbas”.
A car with passengers was fired at and two were killed and one injured, said journalist Maxim Levin as cited by Interfax. An unconfirmed report suggests that a press card was found in the car. The injured person is in a serious condition and needs to be transported to Donetsk, Levin added.
One man has been killed in Slavyansk near the hospital, medical officials told RIA Novosti. The man has not yet been identified. There have been unconfirmed reports in Ukrainian media that the man could be a journalist.
A rally was held in a south-eastern city Zaporizhia as the people took to the streets holding St. George’s ribbons and Russian flags. The pro-Russian protesters were circled by pro-Maidan activists, who said they want to prevent the seizure of government buildings. Police used tear gas to disperse the crowd and restored the cordon separating the two conflicting sides, UNIAN news agency reported. The pro-Maidan activists reportedly threw eggs and toilet paper rolls at the supporters of Ukraine’s federalization.
Ukraine’s Security Council has approved a full-scale security operation in the country’s eastern regions following the crackdown in Slavyansk, coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov said. Military forces will take part in the operation, he added.
At the same time, the new authorities in Kiev are ready to consider granting more autonomy to the regions, Turchinov said. He gave pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine until Monday morning to leave the government buildings they have occupied.
OSCE monitors have arrived at the protests-gripped city of Slavyansk, local news website slavgorod.com.ua reported. An OSCE representative from Poland told the news portal that its position is that people of Ukraine have to solve their domestic conflict without bloodshed. Protesters stopped a car with OSCE representatives as it entered the city. They surrounded the car, shouting that they want to show European monitors what is really happening in Slavyansk, because what European media is reporting is not an accurate picture. They first offered to take them behind the barricades, but then refused to do so.