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KIEV, April 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine's Party of Regions Donetsk Region branch will hold an emergency meeting of all the delegates on April 16. The meeting will be held in connection with the recent events in the region, reports the press service of the regional party branch.
"The meeting is supposed to consolidate the main demands of the region's residents and to present them to the central authorities," runs the statement. "In particular, it concerns direct election of the governor, granting Russian the status of an official state language and expansion of the region's authorities," including budgetary autonomy.
Tension in the East
The situation in Ukraine’s east remains tense, with demonstrators holding administrative offices in a number of cities. Law enforcement officers appear to lack decision and not take any active measures.
In the regional miners’ city of Gorlovka, protesters took over a city police department. Demonstrators numbering a few dozen people control all working premises. They formed a line on the street to evacuate law enforcers.
The authorities hesitate to make an order to use force to the military and police department officers because they are apparently afraid of consequences of a situation when arms are used against civilians.
The Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, worked out a plan to urgently rotate local police officers. Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov said police bodies in eastern regions will be fully renewed “through attracting Ukrainian patriots.”
The Interior Ministry proposed establishing a volunteer corps numbering up to 12,000 people on the basis of armed formations of civilians.
According to self-defense forces’ information, a convoy of light armored vehicles is moving toward the city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk Region from the city of Kharkiv. Airborne troops units are already in Sloviansk. Paratroopers are fraternizing with demonstrators.
Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, acting city administration head and commander of the Sloviansk self-defense battalion, said soldiers of the 25th Brigade of the Ukrainian special purpose forces have sided with the local militia.
Party of Regions candidate for Ukrainian presidency, Mikhail Dobkin, called on the Kiev authorities today “not to unfold a new Patriotic War”.
A coup occurred in Ukraine in February after months of anti-government protests, often violent. New people were brought to power in Kiev amid deadly riots that involved radicals after President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. Russia does not recognize the new self-proclaimed Ukrainian authorities.
Ukraine’s crisis deepened when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.