NEWS IN BRIEF (20/05/2014)


NEWS IN BRIEF. (20/05/2014).

  • Steel workers at the Illich and Azovstal plants in Mariupol have announced 3-hour daily strikes in protest at the instability in the region. The walk-out is intended to signal big-businesses voicing their protest against the separatists. The development of the steel industry, they say, can only take place in a united Ukraine. A mass “United Ukraine” Peace March was called off yesterday in Mariupol on the grounds of safety. Organisers said that at least 30,000 steel workers alone were prepared to take part in the march but that the decision to call off the rally was taken after heavily armed individuals calling themselves representatives and defenders of the “DNR” took to the streets earlier in the day. 
  • One of the self proclaimed leaders of the so called “Donetsk National Republic”, Miroslav Rudenko, has criticised Rinat Akhmetov for calling on workers to strike against the separatists. Akhmetov issued a terse public statement yesterday after the Peace March scheduled to take place in Mariupol had to be called off to prevent “bloodshed”. In an open attack on the separatists Akhmetov said: “Tell me, does anyone in Donbas know at least one of the representatives of this “DNR”? What have they done for our region? What job posts have they created? Does walking around the cities of Donbas with assault rifles really constitute the protection of the rights of the people of Donetsk before the central government? Is looting and kidnapping really a fight a better future for our region? No! This is a fight against the people of our region. This is a fight against Donbas! This is a genocide of Donbas!”. Akhmetov called on all workers to hold daily warning protest at their places of their work by sounding whistles throughout Donbas to show their opposition to the separatists.
  • Russian PM D. Medvedev has said that Moscow “does not need to guarantee anything to anyone” (including the territorial integrity of Ukraine) but then went on to seek guarantees from the West confirming that “Ukraine will not be drawn into NATO and that people living in the east (of Ukraine) will not lose the possibility of speaking in Russian, (and) that they will not be attacked and butchered by some manic ‘Right-Sector’ groups”.
  • According to latest statistics of the Central Election Commission, of 22 regional voting commissions in the Donetsk oblast, terrorists have seized 6 have blocked 6 commissions. A further 5 are under serious threat. Meanwhile in Luhansk, of 12 regional voting commissions, 5 have been seized/blocked and 3 remain under serious threat.
  • Yuriy Lebed, the interim head of Ukraine’s National Guard for the Eastern territories, was freed by terrorists yesterday.


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