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Revolt Spreads in Ukraine
Apr 14, 2014

The rebellion against the new pro-Western leaders in Kiev is spreading across Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, with government offices seized in two more cities in Donetsk region.Pro-Russian protesters occupied police headquarters in Slaviansk, an industrial city of 137,000 residents, just over 100 km from Donetsk,afocal point of anti-Ukraine protests.

Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov had ordered Donetsk riot police to clear the building.However, Donetsk police refused to obey the orders and hours later hundreds of protesters seized the municipal government building and the Security Service SBU office in Slaviansk.The protesters replaced the Ukrainian flag on the city hall with the Russian flag.

The Mayor of Slaviansk Nelya Shtepa said the takeover was peaceful and voiced solidarity with the protesters.All residents of Slaviansk have taken to the streets to support the activists. They are demanding a referendum (on autonomy])and we all support this demand. The protesters also seized police headquarters in Krasny Liman, a town of about 30,000 people 130 km from Donetsk.

Pro-Russian protesters have been occupying government buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine’s eastern industrial heartland since last week.

Authorities in Kiev threatened to use force to dislodge the protesters, but security forces reportedly refused to storm the seized buildings. Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visited Donetsk to promise more powers to the regions, but reiterated Ukraine’s refusal to transform Ukraine from a unitary state into a federation, which is the key demand of the protesters.

Russia has warned Ukraine not to use force against the pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine.Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his Ukrainian counterpart Andrii Deshchytsia that Ukraine’s threats to storm the occupied buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk are unacceptable and urged the Ukrainian authorities to resolve the standoff peacefully, through dialogue and taking full heed of the legitimate demands of Ukraine’s south and southeast, including direct involvement of these regions in the constitutional reform. Russia rejected Ukraine’s claim that Russian agents are engaged in provocative activities in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine to launch Full Military Operation:

According to Ukraine’s, acting president Oleksandr Turchynov Ukraine’s armed forces plan to launch a full-scale anti-terrorist operation against pro-Russian separatists.He blamed Russia, which opposed a pro-Europe uprising that forced Moscow-backed former president Viktor Yanukovych to flee, for being behind the rash of rebellions across Russian-speaking towns in eastern Ukraine.

With East-West relations in crisis, NATO described the appearance in eastern Ukraine of men with specialised Russian weapons and identical uniforms without insigni –as previously worn by Moscow’s troops when they seized Crimea—as a grave development.

Though the Ukrainian military did not resist the Russian takeover of Crimea with force, Ukraine’s president threatened robust action against the rebels in the east. The National Security and Defence Council have decided to launch a full-scale anti-terrorist operation involving the armed forces of Ukraine.

Ukraine has repeatedly said the rebellions are inspired and directed by the Russia. But action to dislodge the armed militants risk tipping the stand-off into a new, dangerous phase as Russia has warned it will protect the region’s Russian-speakers if they come under attack.

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