UK & World News

  • 14 March 2014, 3:07

Ukraine: Pro-Kiev Protester Stabbed To Death

A pro-Kiev protester has been stabbed to death during clashes with rival pro-Moscow demonstrators as tensions rise over Russia's military involvement in Crimea.

Doctors said the 22-year-old man died of a knife wound on Thursday after the rival demonstrations in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk turned violent.

The local health ministry said at least 15 others were hospitalised.

The clashes, in the mainly Russian-speaking city, were the worst seen in Ukraine since last month's ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia's subsequent takeover of the Crimean peninsula.

The local health ministry said around 1,000 pro-Kiev demonstrators were attacked by members of a separate pro-Moscow rally in the city's central Lenin Square.

The 2,000-strong group, carrying Russian flags and chanting for Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly broke through a police cordon.

The latest violence came as Ukrainian interim Prime MinisterArseniy Yatsenyuk condemned Russian "military aggression" in Crimea.

During an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council at the headquarters in New York on Thursday he called on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from the region.

Mr Yatsenyuk switched from speaking English to Russian to ask Moscow directly whether it was trying to trigger outright war.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin replied: "Russia does not want war and neither do the Russians, and I'm convinced the Ukrainians don't want that either."

But Mr Churkin did not reply to Ukraine's call for talks to end the conflict.

According to the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, more than 20,000 Russian troops have seized control of the majority Russian-speaking Crimea.

The public in Crimea will hold a referendum on Sunday on whether to become part of the Russian Federation.

Western leaders have called for the suspension of the planned referendum, which has been described as illegitimate and unconstitutional.

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the Security Council: "A free and fair referendum cannot possibly be held where voters are casting their ballots under the barrel of a gun."

Advertisement