Protesters seize building in Luhansk, Ukraine; Russia denounces sanctions.

Ukraine with Luhansk highlighted (Skluesener)


The interim Ukrainian government in Kiev is facing more difficulties as more protesters are storming facilities in eastern Ukraine:

April 29, 2014 8:40 AM

Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists stormed the regional government headquarters in Ukraine’s eastern city of Luhansk Tuesday.

They met no resistance from police and the Ukrainian government said the separatists also planned to seize the local television center.

The government in Kyiv has all but lost control of its police forces in parts of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian activists have seized buildings in the region’s second biggest city of Donetsk and several smaller towns.

“The regional leadership does not control its police force,” said Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. “The local police did nothing.”

Video footage showed men, some dressed in green camouflage fatigues and holding shields, walking around what appeared to be the foyer of the building as hundreds massed outside the building’s large wooden doors.

Pro-Moscow activists in Luhansk, a city of 465,000 inhabitants near the Russian border, seized the local Security Service building three weeks ago.

April 29, 2014

A large crowd of pro-Russian separatists has stormed the regional administration’s headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

A few dozen men, some reportedly armed with metal bars, smashed windows and doors to break into the building.

Activists shouting “Referendum Russia” later flew a Russian flag over it…A group of men armed with sticks and metal bars broke into the building, whose entrances were not protected by police. They then pulled down the Ukrainian flag flying from the roof and replaced it with a Russian one, and opened the main entrance to the crowd.

April 29, 2014

Eastern Ukraine slid deeper into anarchy Tuesday after pro-Russian protesters stormed and occupied the regional government headquarters in Luhansk, one of the largest cities in the region…

Experts warn that the two eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk are in danger of slipping entirely out of Kiev’s control. In much of eastern Ukraine local police have refused to obey orders from the central government or abandoned their posts, and a military operation aimed at reclaiming government buildings appear to have stalled.

“There is only one way to deal with this challenge, and that is through forceful measures,” says Viktor Zamyatin, an analyst with the Razumkov Center, a leading Kiev think tank.

“Unfortunately, we do not have authorities who are strong enough,” to carry out an effective crackdown, he adds…

And in the two restive regions where most building seizures and violence have occurred, the belief that Kiev’s interim government is “illegitimate” was a massive 74 percent in Donetsk and 70 percent in Luhansk. Majorities also favored greater regional devolution and replacing Kiev-appointed governors with locally elected officials. That suggests most want to abolish the existing “unitary” state that concentrates power in Kiev.

These viewpoints may help to explain Kiev’s relative restraint after threatening to use military force to “cleanse” the east of pro-Russian rebels. Instead it has opted for a more cautious approach: The Ukrainian Army is now trying to isolate pro-Russian strongholds, such as the town of Slavyansk in the Donetsk region. At the same time, it’s working to cut off communications between rebel centers.

The local police do not wish to interfere with what is going on for various reasons, including the fact that many support the protesters.  Many also seem to feel that since parts of eastern Ukraine may end up with Russian dominance, that they do not wish to agitate what may well become the ‘winning’ side.

Russia has been accused of instigating and supporting the protesters and the West announced new sanctions yesterday.  Today, Russia denounced them and issued a warning:

April 29, 2014

Russia has accused the European Union of a “complete lack of understanding” of Ukraine’s domestic politics, as the EU released the names of 15 new targets of sanctions due to their roles in the Ukraine crisis.

Russia’s foreign ministry said Tuesday the EU sanctions were a “direct invitation for local Neo-Nazis” to continue their lawless acts in the southeast.

“If this is how someone in Brussels hopes to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is obvious evidence of a complete lack of understanding of the internal political situation … and a direct invitation for the local neo-Nazis to continue to conduct lawlessness and reprisals against the peaceful population of the southeast,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. “Are they not ashamed?”

Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said separately that U.S. and EU sanctions were “an absolutely counterproductive, trite measure that will force the already critical situation in Ukraine into a dead end,” state-run news agency RIA reported.

The United States and the EU issued targeted travel bans and asset freezes Monday.  The list released by the EU Tuesday includes Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak and General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces. The seven officials and 17 companies targeted by the U.S. include President Vladimir Putin’s envoy to Crimea, the chief of the service protecting the Russian president and the head of Russia’s largest state-owned oil producer.

The Kremlin is promising a “painful” response.

As long as Russia is convinced that Europe is afraid to implement tough economic sanctions and that the USA will not intervene militarily, it will plod along and be pleased with protests, etc. in eastern Ukraine–especially when many cry out to be part of Russia.  Russia wants all of Ukraine, but may well be satisfied with the eastern portion for a time–especially if it can also get a passage along the southern border to Moldova.  Vladimir Putin wants Ukraine and Moldova in his upcoming Eurasian Union, and seems to feel that the Russian military build-up near its borders with Ukraine, plus its statements may be enough to accomplish much of this with minimal violence.  That being said, more direct military intervention is something he has not ruled out.  To the contrary, he has said that Russia will intervene militarily to support Russians in territories not currently part of the Russian Federation.

Those in Ukraine, both Russian supporters and opponents, are aware of this.  And that is part of why we are seeing buildings being stormed.

Notice also the following view of Ukraine, Russia, and sanctions:

Sanctions may demonstrate America’s outrage, but they have done little to deter Russia and they will not solve Ukraine’s problems. The country is broken and its state is going broke. State power has withered away across the country since the revolution in Kiev, revealing deep political fissures between regions. Ukraine’s inability to launch a respectable security operation against the rebellion in the east reveals how unreliable its military and security forces have become. All the while, Ukraine teeters on the edge of fiscal collapse. Even without Russian interference, Kiev will face a monumental task in rebuilding the Ukrainian state, forging a national consensus and repairing the economy.

This task cannot be accomplished without Moscow’s cooperation. Russia supplies the bulk of Ukraine’s oil and gas. It accounts for a third of Ukraine’s trade and unlike Europe provides a market for its manufactured goods. Historical ties, personal networks and ethnic identity give Russia considerable leverage over Ukraine’s internal politics. Moreover, Moscow is prepared to spend vastly more than the US and Europe to advance its goals in Ukraine because — unlike western powers — it believes the country is vital to its security. For Ukraine to have a future, Russia’s interests will have to be accommodated to some degree.

The outlines of an accommodation are already visible: Non-bloc status for Ukraine; decentralisation of the country’s political institutions; some kind of official status for the Russian language and an economic package drawing on US, European and Russian resources. Kiev is proposing constitutional reform that acknowledges those Russian concerns. Now is the time to begin negotiating the details.

That is where the US should be focusing its energies, instead of trying to find new ways to contain Russia. Only active American participation, along with moral and material support for Kiev, can produce an equitable negotiated settlement.

The situation in Ukraine remains difficult and tense.  The economy is in shambles and many in the east consider that Russia is their hope.

Others in the western portion of Ukraine long to be in the European Union, and a split may well happen.  Western sanctions and threats have not stopped the protests.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy Is Russia mentioned in the Bible? It it is where is it? Is there any evidence of a people moving to the land that the Russians now occupy? What do Catholic and other prophecies say about Russia? What does the Bible teach? How are Protestants often in error on this? Is there more in biblical prophecy for Russia than war? Does God have a plan to save Russia and her allies? Does Russia have a history involving Sabbath keepers? Does scripture tie Russia in with Armageddon? Will Russia help defeat the end time Babylonian power? What did the Apostle John, and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, write about Russia? This is a sermon-length video.
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Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
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Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
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