KIEV, April 30. /TASS/. The Ukrainian Security Service has said on Thursday that it had carried out a special operation in the Black Sea port of Odessa against separatists who want to declare an independent state formation, Bessarabia, in the south of the country. As many as 20 people were detained, Ukrainian Security Service adviser Markiyan Lubkovsky told a press briefing on Thursday.
"A group of individuals operating in the Odessa region has been exposed and localized," he said. "Their ultimate goal was declaring an entity under the working title ‘Bessarabia’. Attempts to get young people involved in the actions to destabilize the situation have been also uncovered in Kiev, Chernigov and Vinnitsa." According to Lubkovsky, provocations in the country are possible during the May holidays, and security forces are determined to prevent them.
The arrests in Odessa have been going on throughout April, ever since the People’s Rada of Bessarabia advocating self-determination of Ukrainian regions was proclaimed. The group’s leader Dmitry Zatuliveter went missing immediately after the Rada’s foundation conference was held on April 6. Later security forces arrested 30 more activists who called for the formation of new state autonomies.
The People’s Rada of Bessarabia was founded by representatives of ethnic communities of the Odessa region bordering the unrecognized Transdniestria Republic: Bulgarian, Gagauz, Russian, Ukrainian, Gypsy, Moldovan and Polish. The former Russian province of Bessarabia was located in this region of Europe between the Black Sea and the Danube, the Prut and the Dniester rivers.