Russian separatists force Ukraine riot police into surrender
Riot police officers clash with pro-Russian activists storming the prosecutors office on Thursday, May 1, 2014, in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Photo by Getty Images
DONETSK, Ukraine — This eastern Ukrainian city took another step toward mob rule on Thursday as pro-Russian separatists stormed the state prosecutor's office and forced riot police deployed to guard the building into a humiliating surrender.
The attackers, who threw stones and wielded sticks, were backed by a crowd of at least 1,000 men and women of all ages. They chanted “fascists” and “traitors” at the riot police and waved Russian flags as well as those of the self-styled Donetsk People's Republic.
Ukraine's acting president admitted this week that the police force in the east was “helpless” to protect citizens and that some of its members were colluding with pro-Russian groups.
On Thursday, citing Russian interference in his country's affairs and “threats of encroachment” from tens of thousands of Russian troops massed just across the border, Oleksandr Turchynov signed a decree reintroducing compulsory military service for men ages 18 to 25.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin made what appears to be a politically impossible demand: that the Ukrainian government completely withdraw its troops from the southeastern part of the country. He made the comments in a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Putin told her that “it was imperative today to withdraw all military units from the southeastern regions” of Ukraine, and he called for a “broad national dialogue” about reforms to Ukraine's constitution, the Kremlin said.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.