Topic: Turbulence in Ukraine
Irina Rodnina (L), Nikolay Valuev (in the background) and Valentina Tereshkova (R) - L-R© REUTERS/ Stringer
Protests in Sevastopol© RIA Novosti. Vasily Batanov
- Ukraine Warns Russia on Troop Movements
- Armed Men Seize Crimea Parliament, Raising Tensions in Ukraine
- Defiant Yanukovych Requests Russia Protection
- Russian Navy Boosting Security in Crimea – Defense Minister
- Ethnic Russian Rage Excites Secession Talk in Ukraine’s Crimea
SEVASTOPOL, February 27 (RIA Novosti) – A clutch of high-profile Russian parliamentarians arrived in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol on Thursday as unrest in the region spread.
Boxing champion Nikolai Valuev, former figure skater Irina Rodnina, and the first woman in space Valentina Tereshkova were photographed in the central square of Sevastopol, which has been the focal point of pro-Russia protests in the city since it was the site of a Sunday rally attended by up to 20,000 people.
“I arrived in Sevastopol to support residents of Crimea. Friends, Russia is with you!” Valuev wrote on Twitter.
Ethnic Russians make up the majority of the population of Crimea, which has been alarmed by belligerent nationalist rhetoric coming out of Kiev following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over the weekend.
Speakers at pro-Russia rallies across Crimea in recent days have condemned the incoming regime in Kiev as fascist and called for Russian intervention. Armed men seized the regional parliament in Simferopol overnight and remain in control of the building, which is currently cordoned off by police.
Valuev also tweeted that there was an ongoing “information war” about events in Ukraine, and said he was there to find out what was happening on the ground.
Another Russian parliament member, Communist deputy Anatoly Lokot, also appeared to be in Sevastopol on Thursday. Lokot tweeted a photograph of himself with the city’s pro-Russia leader, Alexei Chaly, whose supporters are striving to get recognized as the city’s mayor, despite his Russian citizenship.
The prominent deputies from Russia’s parliament are the latest in a string of senior Russian officials to visit the troubled region.
Sergei Mironov, leader of opposition party A Just Russia, said on his personal website that he held talks with Russia’s consul in Crimea and visited the Black Sea fleet base in Sevastopol on Thursday.
Leonid Slutsky, who heads the Russian parliament’s committee for relations with former Soviet States, arrived in Crimea on Monday evening for a 24-hour visit.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.