Russia

Ukraine: Situation Against Militants Is 'Helpless,' Says President

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Today, Ukraine is in turmoil. Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov announced that the nation's law enforcement are "helpless" against pro-Russian militants who are ratcheting up their activity in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The state of affairs was discussed at a meeting with regional governors, according to the Associated Press, during which Turchynov offered advice on how to "prevent the threat in the east from overtaking central and southern regions." He told the governors:

I will be frank. Today, security forces are unable to quickly take the situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under control…. The security bodies… are unable to carry out their duties of protecting citizens. They are helpless in those matters. Moreover, some of those units are either helping or cooperating with terrorist organizations.

The Ukrainian government maintains that separatists are led by "mercenaries and special units" from Russia.

That some people are switching sides is no surprise, given their circumstances. Reuters writes that this morning "the police of Luhansk had already stacked sandbags to the ceiling of their HQ in anticipation of trouble" following an "assault they faced on Tuesday night by gunmen armed with automatic rifles, petrol bombs and stun grenades" during which they received no aid from the government.

Pro-Russian separatists staged a predawn break-in of a city council building in Luhansk and waited with AK-47s ready for workers to arrive, reports the Kyiv Post. Later, insurgents seized a tax service and customs office. Radio Free Europe writes that the recent escalation in violence is "unprecedented" and that pro-Russian demonstrators "brutally beat" pro-Ukrainian counterparts at a rally on Monday. Earlier this week, a mayor was shot in the back by an unidentified attacker.

A poll released today shows little confidence in the interim government. Sixty-four percent of respondents from the unstable eastern regions believe the leaders in Kiev don't represent them. However, the poll also showed that "concern about suppression of the Russian language, one of the issues frequently raised by Moscow and cited by pro-Russia separatists" is not widely held by the predominantly Russian-speaking citizens in these regions. And, despite separatist agitation, 74 percent of respondents said they think Ukraine's division can be repaired. 

Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine here.

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  1. I sure wish Groovus Maximus would check in.

    1. He’s fine. In re-Soviet Russia, doctors have their beets delivered!

  2. People are helpless, situations are hopeless, no?

    1. Don’t harp on the Ukrainian president. He’s proven to be kind of hapless.

    2. Translation issues could have been at play.

  3. Sooo…

    Basically the old pro-Russian President was ineffectual against violent protest and now the new pro-European president is ineffectual against violent protest.

    I am inching closer and closer to just simply supporting Putin taking the whole place over.

    Why are the anti-Russian violent protestors the good guys again?

    It is not as if Europe isn’t filled with scum bag authoritarians who are as bad and in some ways worse then Putin and even if Europe is better then Putin it is not as if they will bring any stability to the place.

    1. Could you name an EU official worse than Putin and explain how he or she is worse than Putin?

      1. EU?

        When did i say EU?

        Anyway.

        Cameron, Holland, and Merkel are all pushing the US to get involved in a brewing civil war in Ukraine…

        So yeah right there are 3 European authoritarian scum bags who are worse then Putin.

        1. Absolutely ridiculous and disgusting. You are cheering for the invasion of a nation trying to attain some freedom by a thugocracy in charge of a degenerate dying country.

          1. You are cheering for the invasion of a nation

            You are an idiot if that is what you see.

            Europe is telling the US to gamble American blood and treasure because they think fracking is icky. Europe is telling the US restart the cold war because they spent billions if not trillions of US tax payer money on their lavish welfare states instead of spending their own money on their own military which has made the whole fucking subcontinent open for conquest.

            Fuck them and fuck you.

            1. US “hey world look we discovered how we can get nearly unquenchable amounts of energy from the earth…all it takes is a some horizontal drills some sand some water and you can too can get unlimited amounts of oil and natural gas and you don’t have to mess around in far off lands cuz the stuff works everywhere because there is fossil fuel pretty much fucking everywhere”

              Europe “nah that stuff is icky and would rather we get it from dysfunctional corners of the planet and we can play blood game power politics that has the chance to degenerate into a world ending global war”

              US “derpy derp OK i guess you are right. I mean you guys make such good wines and cheese and have universal health care who can argue with you…sooo cultured you guys are.”

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