Kiev planning new offensive today with far-right radicals
Anti-government protesters have seized more government buildings in eastern Ukraine amid reports that Kiev plans to use nationalist militia in a new attempt to suppress anti-government protesters in eastern Ukraine.
Hundreds of May Day demonstrators stormed the regional prosecutor’s office in Donetsk, the biggest industrial city in eastern Ukraine and raised the flag of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” on the building.
Interior troops guarding the office tried to stop the pro-Russian attackers with rubber bullets and tear gas but were overwhelmed, disarmed and forced to leave the building.
Also in Donetsk Region, activists seized the town council in Amvrosiyivka and the police station in the town of Krasnoarmeisk.
Meanwhile, Kiev is reported to be planning to relaunch its armed crackdown on pro-Russian protests relying on far right radicals, rather than the military.
The Defence Ministry has deployed about 15,000 troops in the east, but the “anti-terrorist operation” bogged down as the military were reluctant to attack civilians.
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, head of Ukraine’s Security Service, who was recently put in charge of the operation, plans to launch an assault on rebels using militants of the neo-Nazi Right Sector group, a source in the Ukrainian General Staff told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday.
The new offensive may begin on Friday in Luhansk Region, according to the source.
Shortly after the report hit the wires the Right Sector announced mobilisation of their militants in Dnepropetrovsk in eastern Ukraine, where the group’s leader Dmitry Yarosh had moved his headquarters from western Ukraine last month.
An announcement on the Right Sector’s website on Thursday ordered members of the “national defence regiment” to immediately report to their commanders for deployment in rebellious eastern regions.
Russia has voiced “extreme concern” over Kiev’s plans to use “ultra-nationalist Right Sector” in the assault on protesters.
The Russian Foreign Ministry warned of “catastrophic consequences” of such “irresponsible and aggressive actions” of the Ukrainian authorities.
“Punitive measures against its own people would testify to the inability of the Kiev leadership to honour its commitments under the April 17 Geneva declaration, which called for an early end to any violence and the launching of a broad national dialogue with the participation of all regions and political forces,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday.
Moscow urged Kiev, as well as its backers, the United States and the European Union, who had signed the Geneva agreement, to realise “the full gravity of the possible fallout of using force against the Ukrainian people.”