Tuesday, September 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Three killed in attack on Ukrainian base

Ukraine

A pro-Russian militant fires up a molotov cocktail Thursday at the gates of a National Guard base in Mariupol, Ukraine, which repulsed an attempt by a crowd to take it over. AP photo

By
From page A2 | April 17, 2014 |

MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The turmoil in Ukraine dominated the European landscape Thursday, as three protesters were killed in a clash in southern Ukraine, high-level talks were held in Geneva and Vladimir Putin weighed in on his neighbor’s future for hours from Moscow.

Still, the constellation of events left the nation of 46 million no closer to solving its essential challenge: the confrontation pitting Ukraine’s new government in Kiev against a pro-Russian insurgency in its eastern regions that is being tacitly supported by Moscow.

Three pro-Russian protesters were killed and 13 injured during an attempted raid overnight on a Ukrainian National Guard base in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine’s authorities said Wednesday.

The Interior Ministry said a mob of around 300 people armed with stun grenades and firebombs were involved in the bloodiest episode to date in the month-long insurgency.

Masked and battle-ready militia bearing sophisticated firearms have been deeply involved in seizing government offices in eastern Ukraine, igniting suspicions that much of the unrest is being stirred with Russia’s backing.

But in a four-hour televised question-and-answer session, Putin on Thursday dismissed as “nonsense” claims that Russian special forces were fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

“It’s all nonsense, there are no Russian units, special forces or instructors in the east of Ukraine,” Putin said.

He did admit — for the first time — that the troops in unmarked uniforms who had captured Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula before its annexation last month by Moscow were Russian soldiers.

Putin also expressed hope that four-way talks between Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia in Geneva on Thursday could map a way out of one of Europe’s greatest security threats in decades.

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said shots fired by servicemen in the Mariupol base initially proved insufficient to deter the pro-Russian crowd from proceeding with their assault.

There were no casualties among Ukrainian servicemen, the ministry said. At least 63 people involved in the attack were detained, but local media cited police as saying 38 were later released.

The southern Ukrainian city lies on the road running from Russia along the coast to Crimea, the peninsula that Russia annexed last month. NATO says Russia has up to 40,000 troops along its border with Ukraine. If Russia was eyeing a possible “land bridge” from Russia to Crimea, it would need to take over the region that includes Mariupol.

Speaking in parliament, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said a pro-Russian gang carrying automatic weapons attempted to storm the base three times.

APTN footage filmed outside the base on Wednesday night showed an unidentified man coming out to speak to masked men in the crowd armed with assault rifles. He told them the military had asked for 10 minutes to think over an unspecified ultimatum.

The masked men insisted they wanted no bloodshed. A short while later, however, a crowd of mainly masked young men armed with bats and sticks began throwing Molotov cocktails at the base’s gate and at the trucks parked in front of it. Sounds of gunfire were heard in response.

One soldier involved in the battle, a 20-year old conscript who gave his name only as Stanislav, said troops were forced to act in self-defense.

“We were attacked by unidentified people and we didn’t want to shoot, but they were behaving aggressively,” he told the AP. “At first we fired in the air, but they continued advancing.”

One protester admitted to a hospital with a bullet wound to the stomach said soldiers opened fire on them while they were attempting to force open the gates.

“We just threw Molotov cocktails to light the way,” said Sergei Shevchenko, a 40-year-old businessman from the regional capital, Donetsk.

Nearby residents were divided about the night’s events.

“Russia isn’t just exporting oil and gas, but also terrorism,” said 43-year-old resident Yevgeny Nechiporenko. “This shooting and blood, the blood is on Russia’s hands.”

Yet passers-by berated Nechiporenko as he spoke, with one accusing him of being an “agent of the West.”

“We are willing to give up our lives so long as we don’t have to serve the fascists from Kiev,” said resident Anna Govorko.

The skirmish came after the government announced an operation to retake control of Slovyansk, a city close to the Russian border that has emerged as the focal point of the armed insurgency, and government buildings in several other cities in the east.

Elsewhere in Mariupol, where pro-Russian protesters have been occupying city hall for nearly a week, 150 people rallied in front of the building, which is now encircled by barricades of tires and barbed wire.

Spotting a television crew, 26-year-old protester Yelena Gorgeyeva got to her knees and declared “Putin, save us, I implore you!”

German Mandrakov, a pro-Russian protester who described himself as acting chief of the city council, said pro-Russian protesters went to the military base Wednesday evening to “convince them to switch to people’s side.”

Crowds have blocked or attacked other troops in eastern Ukraine.

On Wednesday, hundreds of people in Kramatorsk, 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Slovyansk, encircled a column of Ukrainian armored vehicles carrying several dozen troops. Soon after, masked gunmen in combat gear arrived and Ukrainian soldiers surrendered the vehicles to them.

Turchynov told parliament on Thursday the brigade that handed over its vehicles would be disbanded and its members put on trial.

At another location near Kramatorsk, a crowd also surrounded troops on 15 Ukrainian armored vehicles. To end the standoff, Ukrainian servicemen handed over the magazines from their assault rifles to pro-Russian militia. The infantry vehicles were allowed to return to their base in Dnipropetrovsk, 225 kilometers (140 miles) away.

In Moscow, Putin denounced the Ukrainian authorities’ decision to use the military to uproot the protests in the east as a “grave crime.” He added he told his Western counterparts urging him to help disarm pro-Russian protesters that the Ukrainian government should first pull the army back.

“They are sending tanks, armored personnel carriers and cannons there!” he said. “Have they gone nuts?”

————

By Yuras Karmanau. Nataliya Vasilyeva in Kiev and Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

 
School nurses stretched thin

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Exploration of dementia lecture set for Sept. 25

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sierra Club gathers for morning walks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

DPNS has afternoon openings

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Paws for Thought: Socialize your new pup at UCD’s Yappy Hour

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
DHS parents go back to school

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

New DHS Hall-of-Famers

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

 
Sick-pay benefits expanded to millions

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

Bad roads cost Californians billions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Farmers market continues at Sutter Davis

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Yolo County’s looking for a few good advisers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sutter qigong classes start Sept. 22

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Hundreds flee wildfires; homes burn

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Search the Internet at Connections Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Garage, bake sales benefit outdoor education trip

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

 
Harmony Award nominations sought

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Da Vinci seniors take on Constitution essay

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Forum

Maybe not the best rebound guy

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Carbon fee and dividend plan is the answer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Many reasons to back Sunder

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
I support Madhavi Sunder

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

A leader with heart and vision

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Open Cup final has local flavor

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

 
Devil volleyball victories keep piling up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS needs just 10 boys to top Elk Grove

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Finding the good in a tough DHS football loss

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

More pressure on QB would be nice for Aggies

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Raber: glad to join in bringing readers golf column

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1

Highlights galore in Junior Blue Devil weekend

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big Monday for Masiel as DHS golfers win league opener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Woodland artist hosts event at her new studio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Jane Eyre’ to screen at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

‘Shrek, The Musical’ shines at DMTC

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Anais Mitchell to play Third Space

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Irish fiddlers come to Davis house show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Jenny Lynn and Her Real Gone Daddies play at Picnic in the Park

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7