There is no sign of tension easing in the Ukraine today. Russia promises to protect the protesters from violence as the Separatists Defy Ukraine Deadline.
Pro-Russia separatists occupying government buildings in up to 10 cities and towns in eastern Ukraine on Monday defied a deadline from Kiev to surrender as Moscow promised to “protect” people in the region from violence.
Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine’s acting president, responded by appealing to Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, to deploy peacekeepers to the region as the government implements its “antiterrorist operation” against separatist protesters.
There was no immediate response from the UN to Mr Turchynov’s request.
The development came as pro-Russian demonstrators seized more government buildings in eastern Ukraine and refused to leave those they had taken earlier despite the government threatening to deploy the military against them.
Dozens of pro-Russian separatists seized the regional police building in the eastern town of Horlivka, increasing their grip over the coal mining and steel producing regions of Donetsk and Lugansk where at least seven government buildings have been seized over the past week.
Video aired on television showed leaders of the grouping, some dressed in camouflage, standing on the stairway entrance to Horlivka’s local police headquarters addressing crowds who cheered them on.
In Slavyansk, armed men in military fatigues who described themselves as Cossacks stood guard at the local administration building and a few others patrolled the town’s streets.
In an attempt to placate anti-Kiev sentiment, Mr Turchynov on Monday said in a meeting with MPs that the authorities were “not against holding a referendum” to determine the country’s fate.
“I am convinced that a majority of Ukrainians in this referendum, which could take place on the same day as the [snap] presidential elections if [parliament] adopts such a decision, will vote for an undivided, united and Unitarian Ukraine,” he added.
US Treasury Signs $1 Billion Ukraine Loan Guarantee
Earlier today the EU approved another €1bn of assistance for Ukraine and cut import restrictions on Ukrainian goods coming into the EU. Meanwhile the US Treasury Signs $1 Billion Ukraine Loan Guarantee.
Today, the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced the signing of a $1 billion loan guarantee agreement for Ukraine. This guarantee, when completed, will complement the Government of Ukraine's International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform program and underscores the United States' commitment to Ukraine.
"The Ukrainian people have demonstrated tremendous courage as they have charted an independent course for their country and demanded a government that truly reflects the will of the people. The United States has been at the forefront of building international support for Ukraine, and holding Russia accountable for its violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and destabilizing action," said Secretary Lew in his remarks at the U.S. Treasury Department today. "I would like to congratulate Minister Shlapak on the progress he and his team have made in putting in place a comprehensive economic reform program together with the IMF. The United States very much wants to see Ukraine prosper, and we will continue to stand with the Ukrainian people as they move forward to realize their long-held aspirations."
Jacob Lew or Clark Kent?
Will of the People?
Jack Lew stated "The Ukrainian people have demonstrated tremendous courage as they have charted an independent course for their country and demanded a government that truly reflects the will of the people. "
Mr Turchynov on Monday said in a meeting with MPs that the authorities were “not against holding a referendum” to determine the country’s fate.
That would be excellent news, if it were true. Unfortunately, both statements are a lie. Turchynov is only in favor of a rigged vote. Why should Kiev get to vote on what is best for Donetsk?
I propose letting each Ukrainian area vote for itself.
Eastern Ukrainian areas would likely vote to leave. By the way, why shouldn't the people decide?
Mike "Mish" Shedlock