Eastern approaches Ex-communist Europe Ukraine in crisis

The disappearing country
Apr 13th 2014, 20:27 by T.J. | SLOVIANSK, UKRAINE (for now)
THE KIEV authorities' hold on Donbas and much of the wider region of eastern Ukraine has disappeared. President Oleksandr Turchynov had said that a military operation was imminent and that anyone who left the seized buildings by 6am on April 14th would not be prosecuted. But by nightfall, as fog covered the Donbas, it was clear that no concerted government action to take back the region was under way. The region’s police appear to have defected en masse to the pro-Russian side. Police buildings in the town of Sloviansk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sloviansk) and Kramatorsk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kramatorsk) fell to armed men on April 12th and there were reports of other municipal buildings being taken elsewhere. A Ukrainian security services operation to restore authority in Sloviansk failed. Military or police helicopters flew over the town and unconfirmed sources said crowds prevented them from landing. Along the highway leading from the regional capital, Donetsk, barricades (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTVqy9WA4EA) have gone up, manned by men wielding clubs and metal batons. Some are armed with guns. At the entrance to Sloviansk, bigger barricades have been erected. In nearby Kramatorsk, small groups of men stood by the police station and nearby barricades. On the morning of April 13th Arsen Avakov, the Ukrainian interior minister, announced that a fight-back for the east of the country was beginning. A few hours later a film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tWVw9FU2ZQ) was circulating of stalled armoured

Away from the group of men. And for Russia. Dimitry Padushkin was quarreling with a small group of men sent to stand at the entrance of a decrepit and nonfunctioning municipal airport that he said he owned.” (Photo credit: Tim Judah) . “Of course there will be conflict. Another film (https://www. In Sloviansk small groups in front of the barricades by the seized police station chanted: “Donbas rise up!” Many people railed against their low quality of life. Behind them was a tyre barricade. On the outskirts of Kramatorsk. They will take all Ukraine. Behind this were men with clubs. On April 13th a few dozen unarmed men were manning new barricades by the police station. Some say they want more autonomy. Earlier in the day. They are seen to be followed by men in civilian clothes.com/watch?v=6XKRiCZCw-Q) showed a group of wellorganised men in military uniform storming the police station in Kramatorsk.” he said. having possibly moved elsewhere. a slumped man who appeared dead and another one on the ground apparently wounded. Mr Padushkin said that local pro-Ukrainians were frightened.youtube. who said they had been posted there to see that no Ukrainian forces landed. Russian flags and those of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic were flying at all the barricades and seized buildings. On the side Molotov cocktails were being prepared. at the barricade leading into Sloviansk. They shouted that they worked hard while western Ukrainians were lazy and had to be subsidised by them.personal-carriers. “this region will not be enough. some want a federal Ukraine and some want to be incorporated by Russia. No one who supported the Ukrainian government was in evidence. They want everything. Ukrainian officials say they are troops from Russia. Mr Avakov said that one had died and five had been wounded in the shootout. who appeared to listen to orders being given by two uniformed armed men. The military unit seen in the film was no longer in evidence. But what people want is unclear. the first line of defence was a group of old ladies holding icons and saying they wanted nothing but peace.