Separatists in Sloviansk Seize Airfield and Appeal to Putin

War in the Donbas

Ukrainska Pravda, April 14, 2014, 16:04Viacheslav Ponomariov, leader of the so-called people’s guard, addressed Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, with a request to intervene in the situation in Donbas. As RIA Novosti reports, Ponomariov made this appeal on Monday at a special press conference in the city administration building. 

“We ask you to support us in our struggle for our Fatherland. We ask you to help defend our families, our children, and the elderly,” Ponomariov said as he read his appeal to Putin. “We ask you to pay special attention to the situation that has developed.”

When asked why guards had occupied administration buildings in the region, Ponomariov said, “It’s our simple answer to their indecent treatment of our people.” Ponomariov also said that because Mayor Nelli Shtepa had fled town, the citizens will elect a new city chief. According to Ponomariov, elections will happen at the main square at 4 p.m.

Ponomariov confirmed that supporters of federalization have Sloviansk under their complete control. In particular, they have sealed off all entrances into town. They have also taken over the local airfield used for agriculture.

In addition, RIA Novosti claims that a unit of the Mobile Air Troops (VDV) of Ukraine, whose personnel live on the outskirts of Sloviansk, allegedly have gone over to their side.

Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, characterized as an extremely dangerous step the new Ukrainian government’s decision to use force, including military force, against protestors supporting federalization. In his opinion, “Those who are encouraging the current regime in Kyiv to take such actions should be held fully responsible for this.”

According to Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov, the situation in Eastern Ukraine is a complete repetition of the scenario Russia played out in Crimea. Turchynov on Monday asked for UN peacekeeping troops to help fight terrorists.

Danylo Lubkivskyi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, said that Ukraine has evidence of Russian military personnel taking part in the seizure of buildings and institutions in the east of the country, and it is ready to give this information to international bodies. 

Translated by William Risch 

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