MOSCOW, April 08. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry urged Ukraine to halt any interior military preparations, which could instigate a civil war in the country, the ministry was quoted as saying on its Facebook.com account.
According to numerous reports, Ukraine is redeploying special task police units from all over the country to the southeastern regions of Ukraine in a bid to thwart anti-government protests, which flared up over the weekend. “According to our information, units of the Interior troops and Ukraine’s national guards as well as militants from the illegal armed formation ‘The Right Sector’ are being amassed in the southeastern parts of Ukraine and in the city of Donetsk,” the ministry said.
“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 ministry said. “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,” the ministry added.
Ukrainian parliament-appointed Interior Minister Arsen Avakov confirmed late on Monday night that special task police units have been redeployed to the southern and eastern parts of the country from other regions of Ukraine. “These special task units are ready to solve immediate tasks without paying attention to local peculiarities,” Avakov said. “I call on all hotheads to refrain from criticism and panic sentiments and help the police to take the situation under control.”
The current situation particularly in the city of Kharkiv remained tense, but under control, Avakov said, adding that the majority of policemen failed to comply with their duties. “I had an opportunity today to evaluate the police work in Kharkiv and have to admit that the majority of the Interior Ministry’s law enforcers failed to appropriately fulfil their duties,” he said adding that the personnel reshuffle would follow.
Crowds of anti-government protesters marched on Sunday to seize various municipal buildings in the southeastern cities of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk, the administrative centers of the three heavily industrialized regions of the country. On Monday, supporters of turning the country into a federation set up barricades in front of the entrance to the building of the Kharkiv Oblast administration. They used car tires among other ‘construction materials’ to cordon-off the facility. The building was reported to catch fire on late Monday night from piles of garbage blazing outside the building. Firefighters put out the fire later, reporting that two rooms on the first floor of the administration’s building burnt out.
Monday developments in the Donetsk Oblast saw regional council lawmakers proclaiming formation of an independent and sovereign Donetsk People’s Republic. An Act on State Sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic was read out Monday at a session of the regional council, which transformed itself into a Council of the Republic. The legislators also passed a decision on holding a referendum on whether or not the region should get incorporated in the Russian Federation.
Ukraine’s unicameral parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, drafted a resolution on Monday to introduce a state of emergency in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv oblasts. The draft is currently pending a plenary session scheduled for April 8. The Kiev-appointed governor of the Donetsk region, Sergei Taruta, said the latest events in the eastern regions of Ukraine were aimed to divide the country.