Russia: 'Civil War' Looms in Ukraine
Kiev parliament bans calls for separatism
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2014 5:08 AM CDT
People gather near a barricade with razor wires at the regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine.   (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

(Newser) – Attempts by the Ukrainian government to retake government buildings seized by pro-Russia protesters who have declared independence in regions in the east of the country could lead to "civil war," warns Russia—which says it will intervene if necessary to protect Ukraine's Russian-speakers and is watching developments closely. Ukrainian authorities say they have already forced out "terrorists" in Kharkiv who were calling for a referendum on seceding from the country but demonstrators remain in control of buildings in Donetsk and in Luhansk, where they have raided a weapons storage facility, Reuters reports. More:

  • Moscow, which has tens of thousands of troops close to the border, is pushing Ukraine to adopt a federal system that would give regions more autonomy, reports CNN. Russia's foreign ministry claims American mercenaries have joined Ukrainian forces preparing for a crackdown.

  • The parliament in Kiev, meanwhile, passed a bill banning calls for separatism. Some 230 of the 450 members of parliament approved the measure, but a fight broke out before the vote when the chief of Ukraine's Communist Party demanded that the wishes of the country's east be considered.
  • NATO's secretary-general has warned Russia that there will be "grave consequences" if it intervenes further in Ukraine, the BBC reports. Such a move would be a "historic mistake," he said.
  • The activists in eastern Ukraine seem to be hoping for Crimea-style annexation by Russia, though analysts aren't sure whether Moscow will comply, the New York Times notes. Russia's main goal, they suspect, is to destabilize the new government in Kiev ahead of elections next month.

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Apr 8, 2014 11:50 AM CDT
Let me state up front that I have never supported war for any reason and anywhere. I have been actively speaking out against it every opportunity that I have. So with that said, I'm am amazed at how many of those that berated Bush for leading us into two worthless wars are so willing to encourage Obama towards a showdown with Putin. All for a country that has a fractured government at best (with at least a portion of their leadership being supportive of Nazism) and is dealing with the beginnings of a CIVIL war (Ukrainian speaking -Vs- Russian speaking). History has demonstrated how unsuccessful we are at wars of this type ever since the Korean War. In every instance, we lost tens of thousands of lives, and solved nothing!
Apr 8, 2014 11:07 AM CDT
So the Russians living in Ukraine don't bother to become Ukrainian citizens? They can just up and scream and chant that they want to be part of Russia? Is that how it works? Sounds a little like all the illegals in the US that don't bother to learn English and wave their loser countries' flags at rallies for "their rights".
Apr 8, 2014 10:49 AM CDT
Isn't it interesting gentlemen, when Russia had Gorbachev as a leader, who squandered away huge resources of his country, gave its parts to anyone who wanted a piece, disarmed his nation before NATO and basically betrayed his people in all ways possible. Then Yeltcin, drunk most of the time, disgrace of the person and a lousy leader... The West was happy with those, never had a trouble. Now Russia got somebody totally different, who finally cares for the country, and the US is screaming bloody hell, calling him names and cursing every step he takes. Well, it looks like the guy is actually is doing something right! Since America is probably doing what is good for America, why should Russia be different? Way to go Mr. Putin!