Federalists Name Conditions for Vacating Government Buildings in East Ukraine
DONETSK, April 18 (RIA Novosti) – Anti-government protesters in Ukraine's Donetsk region will vacate government buildings and surrender their arms only when Kiev frees all hostages and moves to hold a referendum on the country's political system, a senior commander of Donetsk's self-defense forces said Friday.
"If they release all political prisoners, stop persecutions, and Right Sector lays down their arms and a referendum on Ukraine's political system is in the pipeline, then of course administrative buildings will be freed and the struggle will come to an end," Sergei Tsyplakov told RIA Novosti.
On Thursday, Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union agreed at a meeting in Geneva on steps to deescalate the crisis in Ukraine's southeastern regions.
They called on the warring parties to disband illegally armed groups, empty all occupied government buildings and remove protesters from streets and squares. They also urged the Kiev regime to pardon demonstrators who had not committed felonies.
Tsyplakov said he did not believe the coup-imposed government in Kiev would live up to the agreement, adding that he also doubted the extremist Right Sector would lay down its arms.
Earlier this week, authorities in Kiev announced the start of a military crackdown on protesters in Eastern Ukraine, including in Donetsk Region. Moscow has repeatedly said the decision to use force against the protesters is an extremely worrying and dangerous development.
In February, Ukraine underwent a change of leadership resembling a coup. The country's parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, amended the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|