April 2, 2011 By

‘Russia Trying To ‘Dismember’ Ukraine through Protests’

ukraineUkrainian Special Forces moved against the pro-Russian demonstrators in the eastern city of Donetsk late on Monday after they seized government buildings in the mining city, raised Russian flags and declared new governments in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkov on Sunday leading to accusations from Kiev that Russia was trying to “dismember” the country.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the goal of the protesters was “to destabilize” Ukraine, allowing “foreign troops to cross the border and seize the territory of the country.”All the three cities lie close to Ukraine’s border with Russia. Protesters also seized the regional administrative building in Kharkov. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook page on Monday that the building had been cleared and that public employees had returned to work.

Russia had annexed Crimea in a much controversial referendum last month and tensions hover around Russia’s seizingTransnistria, a breakaway region of Moldova lying near the border with Russia with the majority of the population ethnic Russians just like Crimea. Kiev has put on alert several top security officials to the eastern cities.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week that he’d ordered a withdrawal of some Russian troops from his country’s border area with Ukraine, Merkel’s office said. However, NATO later said it saw no sign that Russia was pulling its forces back from the border.

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