Nation & World News

Armed Men Take Police HQ In Eastern Ukraine City

By Bill Chappell on April 12th, 2014

More than a dozen armed men have seized a police station in the city of Sloviansk, near Ukraine’s border with Russia. The pro-Russian group is one of several that have seized public government buildings in the past week. Ukrainian officials promise a “very tough” response.

Update at 6:00 p.m. ET: Vice President Biden Going To Kiev

The White House announced Saturday the Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Kiev, Ukraine on April 22, to talk with government leaders and members of the civil society.

According to the White House statement, Biden will consult with government officials on the international community’s efforts to “help stabilize and strengthen Ukraine’s economy and to assist Ukraine in moving forward on constitutional reform, decentralization, anti-corruption efforts, and free and fair presidential elections.”

Update at 12:45 p.m. ET: Video Of The Takeover Is Posted

A green truck or van was used to pull security bars off the windows of the police station taken over in Sloviansk Saturday, according to people who posted a video online today. The footage was apparently shot by neighbors who noticed that a force was gathering outside the building.

The footage shows that it took several attempts to get the bars off the window — something the residents found to be a bit funny, according to the audio track. The video was posted to YouTube by EuroMaidan PR, a group that supports Ukraine’s interim government.

Our original post continues:

Reuters describes the scene:

“Masked men in mismatched camouflage clothes armed with pistols and rifles stood near the building, a Reuters witness said. They were wearing orange and black ribbons, a symbol of the Soviet victory in World War Two that has been adopted by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.”

The news agency adds that a crowd has gathered outside the building; some of its members helped build a barricade around the police station.

Saying that a special forces unit had been dispatched to Sloviansk, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook page today that the government’s “response will be very tough because there is a difference between protesters and terrorists,” according to Radio Free Europe.

Pro-Russian forces continue to occupy buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk. Ukraine’s top officials have said they view such acts as terrorism; they have also sought to reassure ethnic Russians that the new government will share political power and will not ban the Russian language.

The U.S. is widening its effort to punish those it says are responsible for Crimea’s secession from Ukraine, with the Treasury Department targeting seven Crimean separatists with economic sanctions.

From NPR’s Scott Horsley:

“The new sanctions are authorized under an Executive Order that President Obama signed last month. It freezes assets, limits travel to the U.S., and prohibits Americans from doing business with the sanctioned individuals. All seven people targeted are, including several who were involved in what the Administration calls the “unauthorized referendum” that led Russia to annex Crimea.

“The Treasury Department is also sanctioning a natural gas company with drilling rigs off Crimea’s west coast.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

A photo from 2011 shows Roberto Gómez Bolaños and his wife Florinda Meza at the 25th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards at The John F. Kennedy Center in Washington. Bolaños reportedly died on Friday at age 85.

Mexican TV Icon Roberto Gómez Bolaños Dies At 85

The actor, writer and director was a staple of Mexican television comedies and children’s programs for decades.


Ray Rice arrives with his wife Janay Palmer for an appeal hearing of his indefinite suspension from the NFL, on Nov. 5. in New York.

Ray Rice Wins Appeal, Reinstated By NFL

The former Baltimore Ravens running back had been suspended indefinitely after a video surfaced showing him hitting his then-fiancee.


Attack On Mosque In Nigeria Kills Dozens

Authorities believe the attack in the northern city of Kano was the work of Boko Haram militants, although the group did not immediately claim responsibility.


Police tape marks off the scene after authorities apparently shot and killed a man who they say opened fire on the Mexican Consulate, police headquarters and other downtown buildings early Friday.

Texas Man Killed After Firing At Government Buildings

The gunman fired more than 100 rounds at a federal courthouse, a bank and the Mexican consulate before trying to set the consulate on fire. He died during a shootout with authorities.


America’s Black Friday Craziness Has Crossed The Pond

The wild discount shopping that once was only a U.S. phenomenon has caught on in the U.K. and elsewhere, thanks largely to online retail giant Amazon.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments