KIEV (Reuters) – As Russians and Ukrainians celebrated Easter on Sunday with their nations locked in conflict, the head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church condemned Russian “aggression” and said “evil” would be defeated.
“Against our peace-loving nation, which voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons, there has been aggression, there has been injustice,” Patriarch Filaret said in his Easter message, as quoted by local media. “A country which guaranteed the integrity and inviolability of our territory has committed aggression.
DONETSK/KIEV (Reuters) – A Ukrainian rabbi whose congregation was the target of an anti-Semitic leaflet that drew global media interest and condemnation from the U.S. government believes it was a hoax and wants to put the matter to rest.
But five days after the incident in the restive eastern city of Donetsk, Ukraine’s prime minister, anxious to maintain U.S. support against Russia, issued a statement accusing Moscow and told a U.S. TV channel he would find the “bastards” responsible.
KIEV/DONETSK (Reuters) – A mediator from Europe’s OSCE security body headed to eastern Ukraine on Saturday seeking the surrender of pro-Russian separatists as the Kiev government declared an Easter truce following a peace accord with Moscow.
Gunmen occupying public buildings in Donetsk and other Russian-speaking border towns refuse to recognize an accord in Geneva on Thursday by which Russia, Ukraine and Kiev’s U.S. and EU allies agreed that the OSCE should oversee the disarmament of militants and the evacuation of occupied facilities and streets.
KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – If armies march on their stomachs, then Ukraine’s rival protest camps could be in for a long campaign, judging by the cooks hard at work behind the barricades in Kiev and Donetsk on Friday.
A day after Ukraine and Russia agreed that protest sit-ins must end, pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine said they would not quit occupied public buildings and pro-Western activists in the capital insisted they would not dismantle their Maidan camp, which helped topple the Kremlin-backed president.
KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s acting president and prime minister offered some of their strongest pledges yet on Friday to strengthen constitutional rights to use the Russian language in an effort to defuse separatist protests.
In a joint televised address, acting President Oleksander Turchinov and Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk called for national unity, urged people to refrain from violence and said they would support constitutional change and decentralizing more power to local councils, including over their official language – a central demand of Russian-speaking protesters in the east.
KIEV (Reuters) – A billionaire regional governor in eastern Ukraine put a $10,000 bounty on the head of any Russian “saboteur” on Thursday and pledged a reward for the Ukrainian troops who shot protesters at their base overnight.
Aides to banking and energy tycoon Igor Kolomoisky, who was appointed last month by the new government in Kiev to run the industrial region of Dnipropetrovsk, also offered payments for weapons handed in to the local authorities and a reward of $200,000 for anyone who “liberated” an occupied public building.