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

Huge Crowd In El Salvador For Beatifcation Of Slain Archbishop

The ceremony for Oscar Romero — who was gunned down during mass in the capital, San Salvador, in 1980 — is the last step before being declared a saint by the Vatican.


Huge Crowd In El Salvador For Beatifcation Of Slain Archbishop

The ceremony for Oscar Romero — who was gunned down during mass in the capital, San Salvador, in 1980 — is the last step before being declared a saint by the Vatican.


The Bank of England in London in a photograph taken in March. The central bank inadvertently revealed that it was planning for a possible withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union.

Email Slip Reportedly Reveals United Kingdom Plan For Possible EU Exit

In the communication that The Guardian says it received accidentally from the Bank of England, officials outlined details of the plan known as “Operation Bookend.”


Michael Brelo weeps as he hears the verdict in his trial Saturday, in Cleveland. Brelo, a patrolman charged in the shooting deaths of two unarmed suspects during a 137-shot barrage of gunfire was acquitted.

Cleveland Officer Acquitted In 2012 Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Suspects

Michael Brelo was one of 13 officers involved in the incident that included 137 shots and killed Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after a high-speed car chase.


Vehicles burn, that authorities say caught fire during a gunbattle, in a warehouse at Rancho del Sol, near Ecuanduero, in western Mexico, on Friday. At least 43 people died Friday in what authorities described as a fierce, three-hour gunbattle between federal forces and suspected drug gang gunmen.

Dozens Dead In Mexican Shootout Between Gangs, Police

At least 43 people were killed in what is being described as the worst gun battle with drug gangs in recent memory.


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
Underwriting Payments