Some Ukrainians call for volunteer army
KIEV — Ukraine's interim government took additional steps on Tuesday to reassert its control by appointing a new military commander and shoring up security forces, even as some leaders made urgent calls for volunteers to take up arms against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country.
Amid reports of fresh violence, former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko urged the creation of a “volunteer army” because neither Ukraine's army nor its security services have been effective in handling outbreaks of rebellion, the Russian news service Interfax reported Tuesday.
Hers was one of many calls to form combat-ready units of “self-defense” forces ahead of May 25 presidential and mayoral elections. Andriy Tiron, battalion commander of the National Guard, told reporters in Kiev that demonstrators who helped oust the previous pro-Russian government were being urged to volunteer for military duty. But there was confusion about who would command them and what their duties would be.
In a brief statement that appeared on his official Web site, the acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, said Lt. Gen. Anatoly Pushnyakov has been appointed to take command of the army.
In Washington, the Obama administration denounced as illegal a planned weekend referendum by pro-Russian insurgents pushing for autonomy and independence for portions of eastern Ukraine.
Secretary of State John Kerry said the referendum set for Sunday would be “bogus” and not recognized by the West.
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.