Pro-Russia Militants Refuse to Vacate Buildings

World Today

Ukraine’s interim government has again extended an olive branch to pro-Russia militants. They’ve promised to give more power to Ukraine’s eastern regions. And they’ve pledged to keep Russian as an official language. The latest concessions were made despite an international deal that called for militants to lay down their weapons and vacate public buildings. Militants defied these calls. They say the government in Kiev is illegitimate.  And they’ve vowed to stay put until those in power step down.

The diplomatic breakthrough in Geneva was seen as the best hope yet of defusing the stand-off in Ukraine that has chilled East-West relations. But in reality, very little has changed.
At their heavily fortified headquarters the leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” was standing firm saying the Geneva deal does not just apply to pro-Russian groups and that supporters of Ukraine’s new government should also quit their camp in Kiev.

Pro-Russia Militants Refuse to Vacate Buildings

Pro-Russia Militants Refuse to Vacate Buildings

Ukraine's interim government has again extended an olive branch to pro-Russia militants. They've promised to give more power to Ukraine's eastern regions. And they've pledged to keep Russian as an official language. The latest concessions were made despite an international deal that called for militants to lay down their weapons and vacate public buildings. Militants defied these calls. They say the government in Kiev is illegitimate. And they've vowed to stay put until those in power step down.

The Ukrainian prime minister has promised to give pro-Russian activists amnesty if they lay down their weapons and leave the occupied buildings. Following the Geneva deal the weapons here in Donetsk were being kept out of site but the pro-Russian group is certainly still well armed, and their message clear.

Despite hope that the deal in Geneva will calm tensions here, Ukraine’s east and west – the pro-Russian and pro-European factions – remain deeply divided. And while the Ukrainian government is under pressure to regain control of the east of the country, the activists leading the pro-Russian uprising here say they do not recognize the current government, and want to self-rule.