n18
NEWS|Current Affairs 
   |

By Lina Kushch and Thomas GroveDONETSK/KIEV, Ukraine (Reuters) - Pro-Russian protesters seized state buildings in three east Ukrainian cities on Sunday, triggering accusations from the pro-European government in Kiev that President Vladimir Putin was orchestrating "separatist disorder".The protesters stormed regional government buildings in the industrial hub of Donetsk and security service offices in nearby Luhansk, waving Russian flags and demanding a Crimea-style referendum on joining Russia.Protesters also later seized the regional administrative building in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second largest city, Interfax news agency reported. All three cities lie close to Ukraine's border with Russia.Interior Minister Arsen Avakov vowed to restore order in eastern Ukraine without using violence and also accused Ukraine's ousted president Viktor Yanukovich, whose political base was in Donetsk, of conspiring with Putin to fuel tensions."Putin and Yanukovich ordered and paid for the latest wave of separatist disorder in the east of the country. The people who have gathered are not many but they are very aggressive," Avakov said in a statement on his Facebook page."The situation will come back under control without bloodshed. That is the order to law enforcement officers, it's true. But the truth is that no one will peacefully tolerate the lawlessness of provocateurs."Acting President Oleksander Turchinov called an emergency meeting of security chiefs in Kiev and took personal control of the situation, the parliamentary press service said.Mainly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine has seen a sharp rise in tensions since Yanukovich's overthrow in February and the advent of an interim government in Kiev that backs closer ties with the European Union.Russia has branded the new government illegitimate and has annexed Ukraine's Crimea region, citing threats to its Russian-speaking majority - a move that has sparked the biggest standoff between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War.REFERENDUM DEMANDAround 1,500 people protested in Donetsk on Sunday before breaking into the regional administration building, where they hung a Russian flag from a second-floor balcony, a Reuters witness said. Protesters outside cheered and chanted "Russia! Russia!".In the Luhansk protest, Ukrainian television said three people had been injured. Police could not confirm the report.Talking to the crowd over a loudspeaker, protest leaders in Donetsk said they wanted regional lawmakers to convene an emergency meeting to discuss a vote on joining Russia like the one in Ukraine's Crimea region that led to its annexation."Deputies of the regional council should convene before midnight and take the decision to carry out a referendum," one of the protest leaders said, without identifying himself.A local Internet portal streamed footage from the seized building, showing people entering and exiting freely. Soviet-era music was being played over loudspeakers outside.The building houses the offices of Serhiy Taruta, a steel baron recently appointed by the interim government in Kiev as governor of a region with close economic and historical ties to Russia."Around 1,000 people took part (in the storming of the building), mostly young people with their faces covered," said Ihor Dyomin, a spokesman for Donetsk local police."Around 100 people are now inside the building and are barricading the building," he added.In Luhansk, Reuters television showed images of hundreds of people outside the state security services building and a policeman in riot armour being carried away on a stretcher.Ukrainian television said the Luhansk protesters were demanding the release of people detained by security services in recent days as well as a referendum on joining Russia."We don't want to join the EU, we don't want to join NATO. We want our children to live in peace," an unnamed woman told Ukraine's Channel Five in Luhansk.Ukraine's state security services said on Saturday they had detained 15 people in Luhansk suspected of planning to overthrow the authorities and had confiscated hundreds of rifles, grenades and petrol bombs.Pro-Russian demonstrators have held rallies in recent weeks in several eastern Ukrainian cities, not far from a border where Moscow has assembled tens of thousands of troops.(Writing by Thomas Grove; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Land value soars 6-fold in 3 years: Robert Vadra makes biggest killing in Rajasthan

from firstpost

Land value soars 6-fold in 3 years: Robert Vadra makes biggest killing in Rajasthan

Investment's made by Robert Vadra in the desert state of Rajasthan multiplied six times in three years under the Congress government run by Ashok Gehlot.Soon after Vadra began his land buying spree, t...


Happy New Year! Goa airport gets visa-on-arrival facility for 43 countries

from firstpost

Happy New Year! Goa airport gets visa-on-arrival facility for 43 countries

Panaji:The Centre has extended the visa-on-arrival facility at the Goa airport for tourists from 43 countries, which is expected to bring in 15 percent growth in tourism during the ongoing season.Goa'...

President Obama's Republic Day visit may prove to be a nightmare for India

from firstpost

President Obama's Republic Day visit may prove to be a nightmare for India

I must admit I was startled by the news that US President Barack Obama has accepted the invitation to be the chief guest at Indias Republic Day 2015. This is quite out of character for both Obama and ...

Mexico: 11 killed after shootout between rival gangs, headless bodies dumped on road

from firstpost

Mexico: 11 killed after shootout between rival gangs, headless bodies dumped on road

Mexico City:Police found 11 headless bodies of young men on Thursday on the road between Chilapa de Alvarez and Ayahualulco, two towns in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, prosecutors said.The b...

Bhopal gas tragedy: Disposal of toxic waste lying at Union Carbide plant still awaited

from firstpost

Bhopal gas tragedy: Disposal of toxic waste lying at Union Carbide plant still awaited

Bhopal: The toxic waste after the Bhopal Gas tragedy lying at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal is still awaiting disposal, even after 29 years of the world's worst industrial disaster, amid concerns ...

How political instability came in the way of Jharkhand's development

from firstpost

How political instability came in the way of Jharkhand's development

Ranchi: With the five-phase Assembly polls underway in Jharkhand to elect the 10th government in 14 years, instability is the issue that is uppermost in the minds of voters.Prime Minister Narendra Mod...

Multi-tier security set up in J&K for Modi's rally

from firstpost

Multi-tier security set up in J&K for Modi's rally

Udhampur: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally, a multi-tier security has been put in place in Udhampur in view of the terrorist attack that left ten people, including three civilians, dead.A...