Friday, April 18, 2014

Ukraine Rebels Blow Off Deal

The separatists who've seized government buildings in more than 10 Ukrainian cities say they don't intend to clear out, despite the agreement struck between Russia, the Ukraine, and Western powers yesterday that, among other things, called for those illegally seized buildings to be vacated. "This is a reasonable agreement," Denis Pushilin, self-proclaimed chair of the government in Donetsk, allowed, according to the AP. "But everyone should vacate the buildings, and that includes Yatsenyuk and Turchynov," referring to Kiev's acting prime minister and president. Pushilin argues that the Kiev government is just as illegitimate as his own.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "did not sign anything for us," Pushilin added, according to CNN. "He signed on behalf of the Russian Federation." It's an open question how much power Russia wields over the separatists. Yesterday on his blog, NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Philip Breedlove asserted that "what is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation," arguing that their training, equipment, and tactics all combined to prove that the masked, armed men are seasoned military personnel, not grassroots militiamen.

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