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Demonstrators in Donetsk plan to create ‘people’s army’

April 10, 2014, 21:56 UTC+3 DONETSK

“We will set up a staff and an officer corps of retired and active duty officers,” appointed commander of army says

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© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik

DONETSK, April 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Demonstrators in eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, who have seized the regional administration building, have decided to create their own “people’s army”, Denis Pushilin, one of the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic proclaimed on April 7.

“We will be creating a people’s army in the Donetsk People’s Republic starting from today,” he said at a press conference on Thursday, April 10, adding that Igor Kakidzyanov would be appointed its commander.

Pushilin said the army was necessary in order to “protect the people of the Donetsk People’s Republic and territorial integrity of the republic”. Kakidzyanov said “army men will be registered and provided with necessary supplies”. “We will set up a staff and an officer corps of retired and active duty officers,” he said.

Pushilin said demonstrators had put forth several demands at the talks with regional and city leader. These include “joint patrolling with police and traffic police” in order to prevent crimes in the city.

Plans have also been announced to create joint squads to guard the regional administration building and set up a working group to prepare a local referendum. It will include demonstrators and members of the Donetsk Regional Council. Also discussed at the talks was “complete amnesty” for the detained demonstrators.

Situation in Donetsk and Eastern Ukarine

Demonstrators in Donetsk, who seized the regional administration building on April 6, formed a Donetsk republic people’s council which declared “state autonomy of the Donetsk People’s Republic”.

The republic “will build relations in accordance with international law and on an equal and mutually advantageous basis. The territory within the recognised borders is indivisible and inviolable,” the council said in the declaration.

“The people of the Donetsk people’s republic have an exclusive right of ownership to land, its subsoil resources, airspace, water and other natural resources within the republic’s borders. The republic will independently determine its economic status, carry out a financial, credit and investment policy, form its own state budget, and determine the procedure for establishing currency and other funds. The republic has a right to ban construction and stop the operation of any enterprise or institution or other facilities that endanger environmental security. The declaration will be in force from the day of adoption and will provide the basis for adopting a constitution of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” the document said.

The Donetsk people’s council also decided to hold a referendum on the status of the self-proclaimed republic no later than May 11.

In an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the council said in particular, “All these months Donbass residents have been trying to express their protest. We are appealing to Putin as only Russia can give us protection”.

“In the event of aggressive actions on the part of the Kiev authorities, we will ask the Russian Federation to deploy a temporary peacekeeping contingent in order to ensure the security of people in the Donetsk region,” the council said.

Meanwhile, a draft resolution introducing a state of emergency in the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions has been registered in the Ukrainian parliament.

The draft is being considered by the parliament leadership pending a plenary session scheduled for April 8.

The Kiev-appointed governor of the Donetsk region, Sergei Taruta, said the latest events in the eastern regions of Ukraine aimed to divide the country.

“The decisions made by the people who have seized government institutions [in Donetsk] are unlawful. A legitimate solution must be found by the incumbent Regional Council,” Taruta said in a statement.

He urged the protesters to leave the session room. “In order to avoid the use of force, further dialogue should be conducted on a legal basis only,” he said.

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