Russia calls on Ukraine not to use force against protesters

Russia calls on Ukraine not to use force against protesters

KIEV: Russia has called on the Kiev authorities not to use force against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine and start a dialogue to resolve the issue.

In an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council held to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian representative to the UN Vitaliy Churkin said that he is alarmed by Ukraine’s announcement that it would deploy armed forces to crush the protestors.

Earlier, the Ukrainian acting President Oleksandr Turchynov in a televised address said that a full-scale operation will be launched in Ukraine’s eastern town of Sloviansk to vacate government buildings from pro-Russian militants.

Meanwhile, the anti-Kiev protests are expanding in the Donetsk Region, where activists have been taking over government buildings for a week. The protesters appear to be gaining ground, with reports of takeovers coming from Gorlovka, a city with a population of more than 250,000 inhabitants.

The activists apparently spent the night in City Hall and are trying to take over the police HQ. The forces holding the HQ opened fire and used stun grenades, when the protesters tried to raise a Russian flag on the entrance to the building.

The coup-appointed government in Kiev has demanded that the protesters vacate all the taken buildings and lay down arms, threatening to send the army against them, if they don’t. However, as the deadline expired on Monday morning, the protesters remained defiant.