Will Putin Invade Eastern Ukraine Next? Pro-Russia Protesters Call On The President To Send In Troops
Ukraine's crisis is far from over. After three of the country's eastern cities were overcome by coordinated pro-Russian demonstrations on Sunday, protestors began calling on Russia to invade the country, which would be a much bigger deal than the annexation of Crimea. The Ukrainian government said the protests had been planned by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Footage of protests in Donetsk, where about 150 demonstrators took over the regional government building, showed someone declaring the city a "people's republic" — in Russian. Donetsk has many Ukrainian speakers as well as a Russian-speaking majority, unlike Crimea, where a larger majority speak Russian, the BBC reported.
At an emergency meeting, the country's interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Russia was trying to expand its annexation of Crimea:
There is a script being written in the Russian Federation, for which there is only one purpose: the dismemberment and destruction of Ukraine and the transformation of Ukraine into the territory of slavery under the dictates of Russia. ... The plan is to destabilize the situation, the plan is for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country's territory, which we will not allow.
Yatsenyuk may be onto something: Though apparently only 150 protestors took over the government building, Russian television stations managed to broadcast the events inside the building live. The protestors demanded a referendum on joining Russia by May 11.
The events made surrounding countries even jumpier in the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea. A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the government was worried about the latest developments. Czech Republic President Milos Zeman said the West should attack if Russia goes any further, the BBC reported:
If Russia decides to extend its territorial expansion to eastern Ukraine, the fun is over.
The fun kinda seems over already, Milos.