Ukrainian military will not storm Donetsk protester-held buildings
11 April 2014, 14:39 -- After a deadline set by Kiev for protesters in eastern Ukraine to vacate seized buildings expired, Parliament-appointed PM Arseny Yatsenyuk pledged to push through a law allowing regional referendums in the country. Holding referendums on the status of their respective regions was among the main demands posed by anti-Maidan activists, who have taken over a number of governmental buildings in eastern Ukraine this week.
Ukrainian law currently does not allow regions to hold referendums separately from the rest of the country. It was one of the main arguments Kiev voiced in declaring illegal last month's referendum in Crimea, which ended with the peninsula's seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia.
Speaking in Donetsk, one of the regions engulfed by the anti-Kiev protests, Yatsenyuk said his government wants greater autonomy for Ukrainian regions, including the abolition of the offices of capital-appointed governors.
The U-turn comes after Ukraine's elite Alpha unit reportedly refused to obey an order to besiege protester-held buildings. At a session of law enforcement officials in Donetsk, one of the Alpha commanders said that he and his men are a force intended for rescuing hostages and fighting terrorism and will only act in accordance with the law, local media reported.
Parliament-appointed Prime Minister Yatsenyuk to visit southeastern Ukraine
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk will visit Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, cities in the southeast of the country, on Friday, the Ukrainian government said on its website.
'In Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, Arseniy Yatsenyuk will hold meetings with the heads of the regional administrations, the city mayors, the heads of security structures and representatives of industrial enterprises of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya regions in order to discuss the situation in the regions, power decentralization issues and Ukraine's new draft constitution,' it said.
Donetsk self-defence units prepare for storm by Kiev armed forces
Donetsk self-defence units, inside the regional administration building, brace themselves for a forthcoming attack, when power-wielding agencies start taking the building by storm. 'We need help. We are not prepared. All our arms are truncheons, while those who will try to take the building by storm are armed. They are coming to kill us. We are really afraid, but we will remain steadfast to the last,' Oleg Guyvika said.
The Donetsk regional administration building has been cordoned off by several rings of protesters. Volunteers protect all approaches to the building. A first-aid centre has been set up nearby, ready to treat the injured.
The more than a thousand people who have gathered in the city square in front of the administration building are singing the National Anthem of Russia.
An activist has shared the information he has just received at what is known as the 'Anti-Maidan' headquarters.
'The attack can get under way any moment now. We are ready. Avakov said they would use force unless we accepted their terms and left the building. According to the latest reports, the 'Right Sector' militants are approaching our whereabouts. They are said to be armed with sub-machineguns. But we hate to live under Nazi rule.'
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