Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
Russia Claims Donetsk Trouble Justifies its "Protection"
The Russian foreign ministry has wholly distorted events in Donetsk yesterday [March 13] and claimed that it “"reserves the right to place its compatriots and fellow-citizens under its protection”.
A statement published on the foreign ministry’s website said that in Donetsk, " demonstrators who took to the streets to express their attitude to the destructive stance of those who call themselves the Ukrainian government came under attack from right-wing groups which were armed with weapons and sticks, and which had earlier started arriving in the city from other parts of the country. "
"We have stated repeatedly that those who have come to power in Kiev must disarm the militants and ensure the safety of people and their legitimate right to hold rallies. Unfortunately, as events in Ukraine show, this is not happening, and the Kiev government is not in control of the situation.
"Russia is aware of its responsibility for the lives of its compatriots and fellow-citizens in in Ukraine and reserves the right to place people under its protection," the foreign ministry statement said.
We remind you that yesterday evening, it was a peaceful rally for Ukrainian unity in Donetsk that was attacked by armed pro-Russian separatists. Local residents say most of the latter had come to Donetsk from Russia
In a fight that started with the separatists shouting "Russia" and “Berkut” [riot police], people were killed and seriously injured. The police did not obstruct the pro-Russian militants.
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