Tag Archives: Arsen Avakov

Up to 11 people killed in Kramatorsk airfield battle

Between four and eleven people have been killed in a battle at the airport in Kramatorsk, a correspondent of the Rossiya 24 television channel said.

“Indeed, there are fatalities. Efforts are under way to clarify their number, which is between four and eleven people,” the correspondent reported live on Tuesday.

As a result of clashes the Ukrainian troops opened fire against self-defense fighters who tried to stop paratroopers from landing at the airfield in Kramatorsk, he said.

Talks are now under way outside the airport building, a representative from the Ukrainian Army has met with the people who came up to the airfield, he said. Asked why the troops were shooting, he said: “I do not know.”

“The situation here is fairly tense, but at this moment there are no clashes,” he said.

“The town residents demand an explanation from the military. Moreover, a rally is about to begin: people arrive by taxi and in their own cars, there is now a traffic jam near the airport building,” the correspondent said, according to Interfax.

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Breaking news – Ukrainian Security Council launches full-scale security op in eastern regions

Breaking News

Ukraine’s Security Council has agreed to launch a full scale security operation in the country’s east following the crackdown in Slavyansk, coup-imposed president Aleksandr Turchinov said. Military forces will take place in the operation, he added.

At the same time, the new authorities in Kiev are ready to consider granting more autonomy to regions, Turchinov said. He demanded pro-independence supporters in eastern Ukraine leave government buildings they have occupied by Monday morning.

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Ukrainian Interior Ministry : anti-riot operation in eastern city of Slavyansk begins

Arsen Avakov said units of all the law enforcement departments are involved in the operation

467DONETSK, April 13, 10:10 UTC+4  ITAR-TASS.

Ukraine’s acting interim Interior minister Arsen Avakov has announced the start of an anti-riot operation in the eastern city of Slavyansk, which is located in the Donetsk region where protesters demanding federalization of the country occupied the local departments of the police and the Ukrainian Security Service Saturday.

Avakov said on his page in Facebook the operation was steered by the Security Service and “units of all the law enforcement departments are involved in it.”

He issued bellicose warnings Saturday saying the authorities in Kiev would offer a ”very tough reaction” to the seizure of the district department of the Interior in Slavyansk.

In the wake of his statement, the protesters started putting up barricades consisting of tires, wooden screens and sandbags around the police station and hoisted the Russian flag over the building.

Participants in the protest action said they had been compelled to take drastic steps by statements of the Interior Ministry’s top brass.

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Those who seized Donetsk prosecutor’s office may be jailed for 5-8 years

DONETSK, April 12, 13:55 UTC+4, ITAR-TASS.
Earlier a group of unknown masked young men with batons in hands broke into the building of the prosecutor’s office

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The Donetsk regional prosecutor’s office confirmed the information that its building was seized overnight.

A group of unknown masked young men with batons in hands broke into the building of the prosecutor’s office. About 40 people began to barricade entrances with furniture. After negotiations, the people left the administrative building.

A criminal case is opened on charges of mass disorders. The Criminal Code prescribes five to eight years’ imprisonment for such actions.

As was earlier reported, unknown people got into the Donetsk regional prosecutor’s office overnight, but shortly after that, law enforcers arrived on the scene and removed all from the building, local media reported.

Meanwhile, a group of unidentified people seized a district police station in Slavyansk, the Donetsk region, on Saturday, an official at the Donetsk regional police department told Itar-Tass on Saturday. “Unknown people have seized a district police station today. They were in camouflage uniform. They remain there now,” he said.

Ukrainian parliament-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has warned about “tough response actions” against those who have seized the police station.

“Armed people in camouflage uniform have seized a district police station in Slavyansk. Response will be very tough here,” Avakov said. A special police group was sent to Slavyansk, he said.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry would respond toughly to attempts to destabilize the situation, especially in the southeast of the country, the ministry said in a statement on its website on Saturday.

“The Interior Ministry will toughly respond to attempts to intentionally destabilize the situation, violation of public order and mass disorders all over Ukraine’s territory, particularly in regions, where special operations are conducted to settle the situation the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions. All who will violate the law, irrespective of declared slogans and party affiliation, will be detained,” the statement reads.

The ministry warned that a “serious” article of the Ukrainian Criminal Code would be applied to organizers of protests.

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Armed men seize police department in east Ukraine: minister

(Reuters) – Armed men have seized a police department in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Saturday, the latest public building to be taken over in the east as Pro-Russian protesters stand off against Kiev.

“Armed men in camouflage uniforms seized the police department in Slaviansk. The response will be very tough because there is a difference between protesters and terrorists,” Avakov wrote on his page on Facebook.

A local police spokesman told Reuters the men had not made any demands, but did not give any details on their identity. Slaviansk is in Ukraine’s Donetsk region, about 150 km from the border with Russia.

In eastern Ukraine, government buildings in the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have been occupied by pro-Russian protesters who want their regions to split from Kiev.

On Friday, a deadline set by the Kiev authorities for the protesters to end their occupation expired, but there was no sign of action from the Ukrainian police to force them out.

“I will say it again: those who want dialogue… will have dialogue and the search for solutions. Those who are up in arms, set fire to buildings, shoot at people, police, terrorize with bats and masks, these people will face an appropriate response,” Avakov said in his Facebook post.

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​Kiev orders ‘state protection’ of protester-held govt HQ in Donetsk

Ukraine’s coup-imposed president Aleksandr Turchinov has ordered the protester-held local govt HQ in Donetsk to be taken under ‘state protection’ as armed personnel and armored vehicles have been reported moving into the eastern region of Ukraine.

According to a decree signed by Turchinov, the local administration building in Donetsk and surrounding territory is an “important government facility, which is a subject to state protection.”

The decree entered into force upon signature and Turchinov has already given Ukraine’s state security service appropriate directions, Itar-Tass reports.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister Arsen Avakov stated earlier on Wednesday that a “special police task force” had already arrived in Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov from western regions of Ukraine and was ready to take them under control within 48 – using force, if needed.

The buildings of power structures in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Lugansk remain under control of the protesters. While so far there have been no attempts to recapture the occupied buildings, activists continue building barricades preparing for a possible attack by forces shipped in from other regions of Ukraine.

People are burning bonfires to stay warm in front of the barricades and singing songs to keep up their spirits, with Russian and regional flags waiving in the background. Many women and elderly people are among those on nightwatch in the center of city.

“We will be on duty here all night, because the assault could begin at any moment,” one of the activists told Ria Novosti. Thousands more people are ready to stand up against attackers at the first call of those keeping watch around the perimeter. Several times over the last few days activists assembled to train their response to emergency situations.

Activists expect the military operation to take place overnight in Donetsk and Lugansk simultaneously. Local administration in Kharkov was already stormed on Tuesday by armed men without insignia and masked law enforcement officers, after the local police in Kharkov refused to fulfil orders from Kiev.

About a hundred fighters from the newly-formed Ukraine’s National Guard reportedly arrived in the airport of Donetsk, the deputy director of a local group called People’s Militia of Donbas, Sergey Tsyplakov, told Ria Novosti.

“In Donetsk airport about a hundred of people from the National Guard have been housed,” Tsyplakov said. “Around a hundred of Right Sector thugs are also in the city, as well as a hundred employees from a private US military company operating under contract with Kiev junta.”

“Totally around 300 professionals or well-trained and motivated fanatics,” Tsyplakov added. “This is a major force, but we are ready to fight.”

Earlier in the day, pro-federalization activists in Donetsk blocked two busses carrying unbadged armed men in camouflage near the military commissariat. According to Tsyplakov activists believe they were mercenaries but were unable to identify gunmen as they kept silent and refused to answer any questions.

In the meantime, Ukrainian personnel and armored vehicles were spotted moving closer to the city of Donetsk. Amateur videos posted on YouTube show that locals were trying to stop machinery from progressing further.

Protests against the new government in Kiev have been continuing in eastern Ukraine for weeks now. On Monday, popular assemblies in Donetsk and Kharkov, where local administration headquarters were captured by protesters, declared independence from Ukraine and announced the creation of the independent Donetsk People’s Republic and Kharkov People’s Republic.

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Kiev cracks down on eastern Ukraine after 2 regions proclaim independence

A pro-Russian militant holding a bat guards a barricade in front of the Donetsk regional administration building on April 8, 2014.

 A pro-Russian militant holding a bat guards a barricade in front of the Donetsk regional administration building on April 8, 2014.

Dozens have been arrested as Kiev authorities launched a crackdown on anti-Maidan activists in cities of eastern Ukraine that attempted to declare their independence.

At least 70 activists have been arrested after a so-called “anti-terrorist operation” launched by Ukraine’s Interior Ministry in the eastern city of Kharkov.

According to the country’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, “the building of the regional state administration is totally free of the separatists who seized it earlier.”

On Monday, Kharkov protesters erected barricades around administrative buildings and the regional headquarters of the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU). The demonstrators soon took control of the building.

This was followed by clashes with police who reportedly unleashed fire-hoses, stun grenades and tear gas to push the crowd back from the building. In response, protesters threw several Molotov cocktails at the building and set a pile of tires on fire. The blaze soon spread to the first floor of the building.

Eventually, a group of local police outside the administration building moved in to push protesters back, allowing fire crews to extinguish the blaze. The building was slightly damaged by the blaze and several windows were broken in the scuffles.

Activists at the scene said the law enforcement officers who used force against protesters had been deployed from western Ukraine. According to some witnesses, the violence was initially triggered by a group of provocateurs.

Despite the crackdown, a group of at least 150 people gathered in front of Kharkov’s administration building Tuesday to protest against the new authorities in Kiev.

Donetsk

Ukraine’s southeast has been seeing weekly anti-Maidan demonstrations.

In Donetsk, activists proclaimed the creation of a People’s Republic of Donetsk after seizing the local administration building.

This action on Monday was also followed by a special operation. Police took weapons seized by the protesters in the SBU’s regional headquarters, Donetsk Mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko said.

A woman raises her fist as pro-Russians demonstrate in front of the Donetsk regional administration building, held by pro-Russian militants, on April 8, 2014.

Ukrainian media however report that the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk has ceased to exist.

“The Committee on Patriotic forces of Donbass has been receiving numerous calls from the public voicing their disagreement with the proclamation of the republic and its joining the neighboring state as well as conducting a referendum – all those without a legal base in place,” Ukrainskaya Pravda daily cited the committee said as saying.

The proclamation and referendum plans were thus annulled till the legal base is created, the committee said. The group’s original posting on Facebook has become unavailable.

Lugansk, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk

On Tuesday, protesters gathered in Lugansk – also outside the regional department of the SBU. Interfax-Ukraine reported that the protesters were setting up barricades and pouring flammable mixtures on them.

The speakers at the demonstration called for the creation of a parliament of the Lugansk republic, choosing new MPs and establishing a new government. Calls for an independence referendum were also heard.

On Monday, clashes erupted in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolaev after at least 300 activists attempted to storm the city administration building. The protesters were also trying to remove the Ukrainian flag from the administration building. Police reportedly used rubber bullets to force the crowd back from the building.

At least 15 people have been injured, with 11 of them were admitted to hospital, and more than 20 arrested, the city’s Health Department reported.

An elderly woman looks at the Russian flag set up by pro-Russian activists at a barricade blocking access to the Ukrainian Security Service building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 8, 2014.

After pro-Russian demonstrators expressed their discontent with Kiev authorities in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, the city authorities moved to negotiate with the anti-government activists.

According to the region’s deputy governor, Boris Filatov, both the “left-wing” and the pro-Russian protesters agreed to refrain from “calls for separatist actions.” In return, the authorities said they will let the activists use some offices in the administrative buildings for their “meetings and work,” as well as provide them with “free access” to local printed media.

Meanwhile, Russia has called on Kiev and Washington not to ignore the interests of all of Ukraine’s regions, including those in southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry voiced concerns over the build-up of Ukrainian forces and US mercenaries in southeastern parts of the country, calling on Kiev to immediately cease military preparations which could lead to a civil war.

According to Russian FM Sergey Lavrov, the coup-appointed government in Ukraine has not made any positive steps towards these regions and the people there “fear that their interests are being ignored by Kiev.”

 

 

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​Moscow warns Kiev against using military, mercenaries in southeastern Ukraine

The headquarters of Russia's Foreign Ministry in Moscow

The headquarters of Russia’s Foreign Ministry in Moscow

The Russian Foreign Ministry has voiced concerns over the buildup of Ukrainian forces and US mercenaries in the southeastern part of the country, calling on Kiev to immediately cease military preparations which could lead to a civil war.

As parts of Ukraine push for greater autonomy – with Donetsk and Kharkov declaring independence on Monday – the self-imposed government in Kiev is reportedly dispatching additional forces in turbulent regions to avoid potential disobedience by local law enforcements.

“We are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] special task police unit Sokol,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “Organizers and participants of such incitement are assuming a huge responsibility for threatening upon the rights, freedoms and lives of Ukrainian citizens as well as the stability of Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s acting interior minister, Arsen Avakov, confirmed that additional police special forces units have arrived in southern and eastern parts of Ukraine from other regions.

“These special forces are ready to solve operational problems without the regard to local peculiarities,” Ukraine’s Interior Ministry quoted Avakov as saying. “I urge all the hotheads now to defer from criticism and panic, and help the police keep the situation under control.”

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, special forces backed by militants from the Right Sector are being tasked with suppressing protests in the southeastern regions of Ukraine, which for weeks have been calling for a referendums on the regions’ statuses within Ukraine. Moscow called on the government in Kiev to refrain from actions that could spark a civil war in Ukraine.

“We urge [Kiev] to immediately stop all military preparations which could lead to a civil war,” the statement reads.

On Monday, a source in the Interior Ministry of Ukraine told Ria Novosti that three special forces units have been redeployed to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to suppress anti-government protests. The source claims that they consist of Interior Forces units, the newly-formed National Guard, Right Sector radicals, and Blackwater (Greystone) mercenaries and Falcon units. LifeNews also reported seeing armed Titan special forces units in Donetsk.

The reports of Greystone Limited (an affiliate of Academi/Blackwater) operating in Ukraine remain unconfirmed.

In a separate press release on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it is “closely watching what happens in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, in particular in the Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov regions.”

Moscow noted that without “real constitutional reform in Ukraine,” the “federalization” of the country, and the implementation of Russian as a second official language, long-term stabilization of the crisis is unlikely.

The ministry said that is time to stop “putting the blame on Russia, accusing [Moscow] of all the troubles in today’s Ukraine.”

Instead, Moscow urged Kiev to answer the legitimate questions that people in Ukraine have for the self-imposed government.

“Ukrainian people want to get a clear answer from Kiev to all their questions. It’s time to listen to these legal claims,” the Foreign Ministry said, accusing the Ukrainian government of acting “irresponsibly.”

At the same time, the ministry confirmed the Kremlin’s commitment to kickstart a national Ukrainian dialogue to stop the crisis. Russia is trying to propose the federalization of Ukraine, where regions would have broader powers of autonomy – including the right to promote regional language minority rights.

Meanwhile, the US hinted that Moscow could be behind the unrest in eastern Ukraine. In a daily briefing, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki stated that during the phone conversation between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, the US chief diplomat “noted the Ukrainian Government’s assertion that this appeared to be a carefully orchestrated campaign with Russian support.”

“He called on Russia to publicly disavow the activities of separatists, saboteurs, and provocateurs, calling for de-escalation and dialogue, and called on all parties to refrain from agitation in Ukraine. He made clear that any further Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine will incur further costs for Russia, and the ministers all discussed convening direct talks within the next 10 days between Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and the EU to try to de-escalate the tensions.”

The White House has also urged Russia to refrain from interfering in Ukraine. “We call on President Putin and his government to cease efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

On Monday, a group of anti-coup activists seized government buildings in Ukraine’s eastern cities of Donetsk and Kharkov, proclaiming the regions’ independence from Ukraine. Clashes between pro-independence demonstrators and security forces were also witnessed in Lugansk and Odessa.

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