Rash of rebellions across western Ukraine

Rash of rebellions across western Ukraine

Anti-government protesters seized public buildings in several cities across western Ukraine in the early hours of Wednesday morning, echoing demonstrations in the capital.

Pro-EU Ukrainian opposition activists burn documents thrown from the seized regional Prosecutor's office in the west-Ukrainian city of Lviv, Ukraine, early 19 February 2014. Photo: EPA/Ivan Borbersky

Pro-EU Ukrainian opposition activists burn documents thrown from the seized regional Prosecutor’s office in the west-Ukrainian city of Lviv, Ukraine, early 19 February 2014. Photo: EPA/Ivan Borbersky

In Lviv, protesters seized the headquarters of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), as well as offices of the state prosecution service and an arms depot managed by the Interior Ministry.

The executive committee of the region’s council, which includes opposition MPs and academics (Lviv is a major university city), then declared in a statement that it is “assuming full responsibility for the fate of the region and its citizens.

„The majority of the district police departments have already announced their decision to take the side of the people of Ukraine and report to the executive committee of the Lviv region’s council,” the statement claimed.

„The regime has begun active military action against people,” the statement stressed, adding that „dozens of people have been killed in Kiev and hundreds have been wounded.”

Security services were seen surrendering to protesters in the historic city, which has long been a cradle of Ukrainian nationalism.

The storming of the SBU building was accompanied by looting and the destruction of property.

Likewise, documents from the state prosecutor’s office were thrown from the windows, and files were duly burnt by supporters gathered outside the building (pictured below).

Elsewhere in western Ukraine in the city of Ivano-Frankivsk, anti-regime protesters occupied an SBU building, the prosecutor’s office and the regional police headquarters. Police commander Vasily Fedyk resigned from her post in a gesture towards the demonstrators.

Meanwhile, a police station was torched in the city of Ternopil, and the prosecutor’s office was also attacked. Cars then circled the city, with demonstrators inciting people to journey to Kiev, where clashes continue.

Western Ukraine’s history differs markedly from the east, with its cities and towns reflecting periods as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Poland. The Ukrainian language is more widely spoken in the west, and the Greek Catholic faith remains pervasive, as opposed to Orthodox in the east of the country, where the Russian language is predominant. (nh, thenews.pl)

Source: TVN, Interfax Ukraine

Categories: News in English

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