Pro-Russian activists and Ukrainian police clash as Ukraine reinstates military conscription
By End the Lie
The tensions in Ukraine continue to rise as clashes between pro-Russian activists and Ukrainian riot police left 26 injured and the Ukrainian president reinstated military conscription.
The interim president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said the move to reintroduce compulsory military service was in response to Ukrainian security forces effectively losing control over two eastern regions.
The presidential decree signed Thursday cited “the rising force of armed pro-Russian units and the taking of public administration buildings … which threaten territorial integrity,” according to The Telegraph.
Turchynov’s decree came after pro-Russian separatists seized the prosecutor’s office in the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.
The seizure involved a considerable amount of violence and injuries, including four sustaining gunshot wounds, according to the Donetsk regional administration’s health department cited by CNN.
At least one police officer was injured in the clashes, according to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry. Shots were fired and small grenades and stones were used in the attack, according to the ministry.
Ukrainian police used stun grenades and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the pro-Russian activists, who wielded clubs, batons and shields, but did not appear to be carrying firearms, according to CNN.
One woman said that she helped a wounded man who she said was shot by someone from inside the building, according to CNN.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Ukraine to remove their military forces from the southeastern portion of the country.
Such a move “would effectively cede control to the pro-Russian forces that have taken over about a dozen cities in the border area and are pushing for a referendum on its status,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the attaché, who was not named, had been engaged in activities “not in accordance with his diplomatic status,” according to The Telegraph.
Ukraine said on Thursday that they detained Russia’s navy attaché on suspicion of spying, according to Interfax. The attaché will reportedly be forced to leave the country.
Putin continues to deny the Western and Ukrainian allegations of meddling in the country.
Russian state television ran reports of chaos and fighting in eastern Ukraine throughout the day, reporting that the Ukrainian army has had mass desertions of soldiers who refuse to attack the separatists, the WSJ reports.
Moscow has also expressed concerns about Kiev using force on Ukrainians, according to the Kyiv Post.
“Moscow is extremely concerned about media reports on the Kyiv regime’s intention to carry out a special assault operation in the southeastern regions of the country, not to mention the use of the ultra-nationalist Right Sector’s units,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to the Post.
Russian state television ran a report citing unnamed sources claiming that the Ukrainian government was arming right-wing radicals for a large-scale operation against the separatists, according to the WSJ.
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