[QODLink]
Europe

Ukraine fears 'Crimea scenario' in east

Pro-Russian group declares "people's republic" of Donetsk, as separatists clash with police in other eastern cities.

Last updated: 08 Apr 2014 00:28
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Ukraine's acting president has pledged "anti-terrorist measures" after pro-Russian protesters declared the region of Donetsk an independent republic and clashes erupted in two other eastern cities.

In a televised appeal on Monday, Oleksandr Turchynov said that the action in Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk showed that Russia was "playing out the Crimean scenario" - a reference to the Russian takeover and annexation of the peninsula.

"We will not allow this," he said. Warning that some activists had taken up arms, Turchinov said: "Anti-terrorist measures will be carried out against those who had taken up weapons."

Earlier on Monday, pro-Russian protesters occupying a regional administration building in Donetsk declared the creation of a "people's republic" separate from Ukraine.

"In the event of aggressive action from the illegitimate Kiev authorities, we will appeal to the Russian Federation to bring in a peacekeeping contingent," said the proclamation, voiced by an unidentified man.

The activists later read out the text to a cheering crowd of about 1,000 people outside the building.

"An anti-Ukrainian plan is being put into operation ... under which foreign troops will cross the border and seize the territory of the country," said Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's acting prime minister. "We will not allow this."

Demand of referendums

After seizing official buildings in Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk on Sunday night, pro-Russian activists demanded that referendums be held on whether to join Russia.

The interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said on Monday that the main regional administration building in Kharkiv had been cleared of "separatists", but not before clashes in front of the building in which nine people were injured.

Police in Luhansk said protesters occupying the state security building there had seized weapons. 

Avakov on Sunday accused the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, of orchestrating the "separatist disorder" and promised that disturbances would be brought under control without violence.

Late on Monday, the Russian foreign ministry issued said the Ukraine government should stop blaming Russia for its problems.

"If irresponsible treatment of one's country, one's nation, by the political forces who call themselves the Ukrainian authorities continues, Ukraine will inevitably be facing new troubles and crises," it said.

Russia has been pushing a plan of a federal Ukraine, in which regions of the country of 46 million would have broad powers of autonomy.

Ukraine, which is drawing up its own plan for "de-centralisation" linked to regional development, said Russia aimed to break up the country.

415

Source:
Al Jazeera And Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
join our mailing list