Ukraine's east braces for anti-rebel operation as deadline passes

SLAVIANSK, Ukraine Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:52am BST

1 of 14. A pro-Russian supporter eats next to a stove on a street near in the seized office of the SBU state security service, in Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine April 13, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

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SLAVIANSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Towns in eastern Ukraine on Monday braced for military action from government forces as a deadline passed for pro-Russian separatists to disarm and end their occupation of state buildings or face a major "anti-terrorist" operation.

As the 9 a.m. (07.00 a.m. BST) deadline issued by authorities in Kiev expired, a Reuters reporter in the flashpoint city of Slaviansk, where armed men had seized two government buildings, said there was no outward sign the rebels were complying with the ultimatum.

Angered by the death of a state security officer and the wounding of two comrades near Slaviansk, acting president Oleksander Turchinov warned rebels on Sunday that a full-scale security operation, including the army, would be unleashed unless they met the deadline.

Turchinov and other leaders blame Russia, which annexed Ukraine's Crimea region when Moscow-backed former president Viktor Yanukovich fled after months of pro-Western protests, for inspiring and organising a rash of rebellions in Slaviansk and other Russian-speaking towns in eastern Ukraine.

"We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of Ukraine," Turchinov said on Sunday night.

The crisis has brought relations between Russia and the West to their lowest point since the end of the Cold War in 1991, and also carries a risk of unleashing a "gas war" which could disrupt energy supplies across Europe.

Use of force by Kiev's pro-Europe authorities could trigger a fresh confrontation from Russia. Russia's foreign ministry called the planned military operation a "criminal order" and said the West should bring its allies in Ukraine's government under control.

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency session on Sunday night, and the United States warned that it was likely to impose further sanctions on the Kremlin if the escalation in eastern Ukraine continues.

In Slaviansk as of 9 a.m. local time on Monday, a Russian flag still flew over police headquarters, one of two buildings taken over by the separatists, while masked men continued to man barricades of sandbags in front of it.

Even as the deadline passed, a truck appeared bringing more tyres to heap on top of the barricades to reinforce them.

There was tension in the air as people tried to go about their normal business, though school and colleges have been closed and parents advised to keep their children indoors.

Alexei Myzenko, a 38-year-old bank teller, was at work as usual, but he said he and his wife had told their son, who is at university in the eastern town of Kharkiv, not to attend lectures on Monday.

"We didn't want anything to happen to him," said Myzenko. "Of course, some people are afraid. But they are still lining up to get their pensions," he said.

Myzenko said his wife, who is a teacher, had been called by the town administration to tell her that school was cancelled until further notice.

Iryna Zemlyanskaya, 62, who works as a pharmacist, said: "I am going to work. They've promised to use force so many times and have not done a single thing. No-one's even afraid anymore."

"We will not allow Russia to repeat the Crimean scenario in the eastern regions of Ukraine," Turchinov said on Sunday night.

INTERNATIONAL MOVES

in New York, Britain's U.N. ambassador said Russia had massed tens of thousands of well-equipped troops near the Ukrainian border in addition to the 25,000 troops it recently moved into Crimea.

Earlier, the American ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said on ABC's "This Week" that the latest events in Ukraine bore "the telltale signs of Moscow's involvement".

"The president has made clear that, depending on Russian behaviour, sectoral sanctions in energy, banking, mining could be on the table, and there's a lot in between," she added.

European Union foreign ministers were due to meet in Strasbourg on Monday to discuss Ukraine.

The EU and the United States have already imposed limited sanctions on Moscow following its annexation of Crimea.

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

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

Kiev accuses the Kremlin of trying to undermine the legitimacy of presidential elections on May 25 that aim to set Ukraine back onto a normal path after months of turmoil.

However, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Kiev was "demonstrating its inability to take responsibility for the fate of the country" and warned that any use of force against Russian speakers "would undermine the potential for cooperation", including talks due to be held on Thursday between Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance has effectively ruled out military action over Ukraine, which lies outside the Western alliance. However, Washington and NATO leaders have made clear they would defend all 28 member states, including former Soviet republics in the Baltic that are seen as the most vulnerable to Russian pressure.

(Writing by Richard Balmforth; Editing by Giles Elgood)

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Comments (2)
ektope wrote:
Let them dare …if they have the balls.

Apr 14, 2014 8:18am BST  --  Report as abuse
AOSz wrote:
Dear Readers who might be alarmed and worried There’s no need for panic as corporal Jones would say. I’ve just heard Russia’s sending humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, honestly from the horses mouth Gospodin Raymond. Vermont said so last night.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/comments/idUKBREA3709O20140413

So now lets not get paranoid about these fake NATO snapshots and see more in this than there really is!

In pictures: Russian military build-up near Ukraine

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26968312

The guns are really replica weapons. The planes and tanks are just rubber blow up bouncy castles, designed by the Putin Ministry of Education, Fun, and United Cultural Understanding with Ukrainians (Putin ME-FUCU Ukrainians).

Its perfectly understandable why they are located at a 100 border points, along with a few dozen chaps having BBQ’s, undergoing unarmed gymnastics combat and engaging in peaceful goose step marching. How else can they entrain themselves? After all its part of the Sochi Olympics legacy!

The wearing of any green or khaki colored military leprechaun fancy dress costumes is all in character with what are really good humored and friendly border patrols and customs officials, supplemented by a few un-armed local civilians having a bit of springtime fun and frolics.

As part of their keep fit regime they will need to have to have a loosely coordinated ramble across the border. In order to keep up their moral they may well practice synchronized walking skills in time to some Russian patriotic marching music, followed by some overarm stretching and throwing of projectiles just in case cricket ever becomes an Olympic sport or Russia applies to join the ICC. How else can they celebrate their fun loving ethos with their Slavic brothers?

But lets not forget that the whole purposes of the cross-border jaunt will an entirely humanitarian task. This will all be to help out their oppressed brotherly kin make sure all the poppies in the fields are being appropriately destroyed.

Any flames in the fields that might be seen from these narcotics prevention assistance pogroms (sorry I meant to say programmes) should not cause any alarm in the west.

Of course there may be some occasional flights across Ukrainian territory dropping off of airborne relief workers to secure lines of communication to ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Other flights by cultural sharing hobbyists of radio controlled model aircraft may be needed in order to drop of payloads of assistance to help disperse armed concentrations of crazed zombified Ukrainians (Wafffen SS Ukrainian armored tank divisions armed to the teeth with rocket propelled tactical nuclear weapons of mass destruction of Russian speakers to be a little bit more precise)

However it must be realized that it may be necessary to extend this assistance pogrom, (sorry same Freudian slip) programme and root out any evil narcotics dealers in the all of the urban areas of Ukraine.

This will be necessary to ensure that none of these baddies escape and don’t cross over the border into the world’s prime example of an ecumenical and pluralistically media friendly and most democratic Federation ever. Created by the Great Tsarist Patriarch Lord Vl-Adolf Putin, the reconquering Caesar of all Historical Russian Lands of Nova-Rossiya and all Russian inhabited terror-itories.

The so-called opinion poll that suggests that 92% of the population of Ukraine do not want to live united with Russia should not be taken too seriously. After all its only 82.4% of eastern Ukraine’s population that want the status quo of a unitary Ukrainian state to continue.

( http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2014/04/11/7022123/ )

We must take such opinion polls with a gigantic sackful of Siberian salt and must remember that Commander Spock of the USS Enterprise was so completely wrong when he so illogically pointed out the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (Crimea excepted).

After all the fact that 18.2% of the residents of the Donbass region (Luhansk and Donetsk) want to live in the borders of an adjacent country is more than sufficient justification for legions of Divisions of Motorized Russian tourists in green military fancy dress costumes to help their Comrades in Replica Arms of the border Patrols, and customs service thoroughly clean up the poppy fields of Nova-Rossiya and the other parts of the wild west borderlands.

Of Course we must also not forget that in the pure and free and totally open and transparent Russian media world environment it would be so easy to be influenced by corrupt western ideologies.

Whilst of course recognizing that there is no limit individual freedom of thought in Russia as long as it is within the permitted governmental remits and behavior vis-a-vis public expression.

We do however have to recognize that Russian society does not want to be brainwashed by Ukrainians who by using their pervasively hypnotic and hallucinogenic thoughts and second-class language of Yokel dialects could so easily spread their evil so-called liberal ideas and anti-autocracy nasty habits and contaminate the ecclesiastically pure and superior ethno-cultural centers of Mother Russia. So they need to be stopped.

PS. If some of these Russian civilians, customs officers and visiting tourists are subsequently seen on video recordings firing blank rounds from their replica riffles and pistols into Ukrainians who may or may not be wearing military uniforms or waving blue and yellow flags, this should not be interpreted as mass carnage and slaughter of the defenseless. It is likely to purely a bit of collateral damage resulting from the operationalization of the narcotics containment pogram (sorry again programme).

Of course naturally enough the Ukrainians will be just joining into the spiritual nature of the paint-ball inspired war games and be pretending to be dead. Come back a few days later and you’ll see all those pretending to be dead will have gone home or may have decided to take up permanent residence in Russian ground.

Any claims to the contrary will just be propaganda from the discredited so-called monster raving loony politicians of the rump phony interim government of Neo Fascist exiles, hiding in their layers and caves in the woods and mountains, hiding from fair trial from the Russian justice system.

They are the ones who should be accountable for their actions. Those pretend politicians who hypnotized and then manipulated the minds of those poor uneducated Ukrainian peasants that then elected them to that brawl house they call a parliament; and who then subsequently in their dream of a pseudo–western future democracy and EU membership undertook the most terrible and extremely horrible bloodiest coup ever known in the history of the world, or even in the Galaxy.

They will be the reason for the implementation of the benevolent and kind hearted Russian humanitarian intervention pogrom (sorry programme )in Ukraine.

Let us not forget that they are the ones who evicted from his cosy riverside little log cabin chalet that was filled with some honestly acquired (granted with preferential borrowing rates from the Bank of Ukraine) but otherwise with hard work and graft, a few comforting tiny replica art works, and replica full size dinky corgi car toys and collectors trinkets, a cuddly chaste and honest president who was prepared to be payed to subscribe to the gospel of, and to pray at, the feet of our Lord Vl-Adolf Putin.

After the failure of the parle at the forthcoming planned Geneva Convention, Houston do not be alarmed.

The Russian Eagle has not landed, it has only just begun its ascension.

Apr 14, 2014 9:27am BST  --  Report as abuse
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