#AceWorldNews – UKRAINE – April 20 – Timeline of Events and Latest from news sources.
Sunday, April 20
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has announced the creation of a special units corps to maintain order in the south-eastern parts of the country.
The move is explained by the “externally inspired separatist terrorist attacks, creation of gangs financed from outside the country, and the threat to internal law and order” in those regions, the ministry’s website said.
The self-defence forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk region are expecting assaults on checkpoints and administrative buildings they’re holding in the town of Slavyansk at 18:00 GMT, Itar-Tass reports.
The anti-government activists are on high alert, with preparations to repel the attack under-way, said Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the “people’s mayor” of Slavyansk.
According to Ponomarev, unidentified armed men were spotted gathering outside the town.
The self-defence forces failed to establish their belonging to any units of the Ukrainian military and say they are militants from the radical Right Sector movement.
Machine gun fire has been heard in the centre of Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene.
Anti-government demonstrators in Odessa have demanded the resignation of the head of the regional administration, Vladimir Nemirovsky, Vesti.ru reports.
Hundreds marched the streets of Odessa on Sunday, with the demonstration concluding with a rally at the city’s Kulikovo Field.
Protesters also showed their support to the idea of referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and urged the coup-imposed authorities to end political repressions.
The self-defense forces in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region said that three of their checkpoint in the suburbs of the town of Slavyansk came under fire by unidentified gunmen, Interfax news agency reports. http://wp.me/p165ui-4Tl
On Sunday, the Interior Ministry called on former members of the Berkut riot police, which had been branded as thugs and criminals by the new authorities, to return to service April 20 – 17.25 GMT: http://on.rt.com/xdnz8t
“We, the members of the board of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, address the former members of Berkut. You always were the elite of the security forces,” said the statement of the ministry’s website. “On the eve of Orthodox Easter we urge everyone not indifferent to the fate of our country, to reconcile and unite, first of all by social consolidation and stopping the strife and mutual disrespect.”
The Berkut special forces units were dismissed on February 25 by the coup-installed Kiev regime http://wp.me/p165ui-4T0
The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed outrage over the deadly gun battle on Saturday night in Slavyansk. It said Kiev must deliver on its commitment to de-escalate the violence.
The OSCE mission in Donetsk does not possess evidence of any Russian troop presence in Ukraine. The mission’s head, Klaus Zillikens, told Ekho Moskvy radio that information appearing in the media regarding the number of victims of clashes in the Donetsk region is often unsubstantiated and not backed by evidence. This includes the Donbass region as well, Zillikens said.
The division of Ukraine’s interior ministry in the Donetsk region has confirmed three people died in a skirmish in Slavyansk (northern Donetsk region).
The interior ministry’s version is “unidentified persons in four cars approached the block station and opened fire at the people guarding it.”
The source said three people had been killed in the skirmish /two local residents, the third is being identified/, and three more were wounded. An investigation is under-way. Earlier, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry confirmed a murder of one man in Slavyansk. http://wp.me/p165ui-4T2
Anti-Maydan activist, Konstantin Dolgov, has been jailed for two months by Kharkov’s court for his role in coordinating the local protest movement, his lawyer told Interfax-Ukraine.
“We have five days to make an appeal,” Dmitry Tihonenkov, the lawyer, told the newspaper.
No details of the specifics of Dolgov’s crimes are being shared at present, but it is known that the charge is for the deliberate destruction of property.
Mood here, some 6km outside #Sloviansk – shock, sadness. Working to find identities of those killed. pic.twitter.com/Yw0hmockuM
— GrahamWPhillips (@GrahamWP_UK) April 20, 2014
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has called on the former members of the Berkut riot police to stand up and fight against “intervention” and “save Ukraine.”
Berkut were involved in confrontation with radical activists during the Ukrainian protests in February, defending governmental buildings in Kiev from crowds, pelting them with Molotov cocktails and stones. Protesters accused the police officers of brutality, so after Ukraine’s coup all Berkut units were disbanded.
Former Berkut members must forget that they used to be on different sides of the barricades and remember that “they are children of a united Ukrainian land, forget grievances, and leave behind all personal ambitions,” the ministry leaders said in a statement.
The statement says that “in February there was enough human wisdom to stop just short of fratricide. The plot to discredit Ukraine’s national statehood failed.” It’s not clear whether the ministry chose to dismiss the killing of more than 100 people during the Kiev protest as irrelevant, or decided to go against the position of the General Prosecutor’s office, which charged several former Berkut members with mass murder.
The attitude towards Berkut troops is one of several undermining the split in Ukraine following the February coup. Many anti-Maidan protesters hail them as heroes, who fulfilled their duty and resisted the violence of the radical activists. Some former Berkut members are reportedly taking active part in the protest movement in eastern Ukraine, which is defying Kiev.
Four people with gunshots have been taken to a hospital in Slavyansk overnight, RIA Novosti confirms.
Five people have been reportedly killed in a shooting in Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine held by anti-government protesters.
The fatalities came after a night attack on a protester checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, a Rossiya 24 news channel correspondent reported. Four cars drove by the checkpoint and opened fire at local residents holding it, killing three people and seriously injuring another one.
A group of protesters, who had firearms unlike those holding the checkpoint, was called from their camp in the city. They opened fire at the attackers, killing two of them, the report said.
The protesters in the confrontation reportedly captured the attackers’ two cars. Firearms, explosives and aerial photos of Slavyansk were discovered there. http://wp.me/p165ui-4Ti
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on the West to focus on preventing “further escalation” in Ukraine rather than on sanctions to target Russia, according to Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which is expected to publish the full interview on Sunday.
“I sometimes wish that the same engagement being used for the debate about sanctions would also exist when it comes to avoiding a further escalation,” Steinmeier told the newspaper. “We’ve already exhaustively discussed the sanctions issue.”
He also stressed that Germany supports the agreement reached in Geneva on the de-escalation of the conflict and vowed support to the OSCE mission in Ukraine.
“It was clear that peace in Ukraine would not be immediately restored after the agreement in Geneva. Now the most important is that the agreed measures are implemented,” he said. http://wp.me/p165ui-4SS
In his Easter message, the head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church condemned the “aggression” in Ukraine.
“Against our peace-loving nation, which voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons, there has been aggression, there has been injustice,” Patriarch Filaret said. “God cannot be on the side of evil, so the enemy of the Ukrainian people is condemned to defeat,” he added. “Lord, help us resurrect Ukraine.”
Ace Related News – Previous days of Conflict.
1. April 19 http://wp.me/p165ui-4RD
2. April 18 – http://wp.me/p165ui-4QL
3. April 17 – http://wp.me/p165ui-4PG
4. April 16 – http://wp.me/p165ui-4Oi
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