Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov has warned of “dangerous signs of separatism” in parts of the country, amid anger at the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych from power.
According to his spokesman, he said anyone held responsible for separatist moves should be punished.
His comments echo those of some MPs who have voiced fears that Ukraine could split because of anger in the east and south at recent events.
Residents of the Crimean port of Sevastopol have been signing up as volunteers for self-defence and pro-Russian groups, fearing potential attacks by Ukrainian extremists.
Protesters on the southern peninsula have staged rallies against Ukraine’s new leaders and a Russian-speaking mayor has been appointed in Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.
Some 20,000 people turned out at another rally in the city on Monday, chanting “Russia” as they called for secession from Ukraine. The previous day saw an even bigger demonstration.
Almost 60 percent of the region’s population are ethnic Russians.
Russian MPs visiting Sevastopol met residents and denied reports that Russian passports would be given to all Ukrainians who apply. Sergei Mironov, head of a pro-Kremlin party’s parliamentary faction, said those Ukrainians who wanted Russian citizenship should be given passports as quickly as possible.
“The geopolitical struggle for Ukraine should not come to resettling the population (of Ukraine) to Russia by giving them Russian passports. This would be the greatest mistake and even a tragedy for Russia,” Crimean human rights activist Olga Timofeyeva told the delegation from Moscow.
A senior figure in the Russian Duma acknowledged that such a sensitive move would inflame Kyiv.
“This is a very sensitive issue. It has to be worked on by a number of federal departments. This has to be decided by the highest authorities in Russia. And of course we should understand that if such proposals are legally approved in Russia the reaction of Kiev will be very negative. We can’t do anything which could provoke armed response and bloodshed with respect to primarily and including our compatriots,” said deputy chairman of Russian Duma foreign affairs committee Leonid Slutsky.
But moves are afoot in Crimea to challenge the authority of whatever new national government is formed. An extraordinary session of the Crimean Rada – the region’s parliament – is due to be held on Wednesday. Its speaker has said it will not recognise new decisions of the national parliament in Kyiv.
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 2German interior minister criticises lack of appreciation from some refugees
- 3ISIL operations centre in Idlib, Syria ‘destroyed’ by Russian airstrike
- 4Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 5Russian action ‘resets chessboard in Syria,’ says analyst
- 1NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 2Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 3Poland: thousands turn out for anti-immigration protests
- 4Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 5France claims Russian jets have struck rebel, not IS forces in Homs
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to house refugees
- 9International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 10Denmark: launches anti-migrant ad campaign
- 11Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 12Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 13Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 14Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 15Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 16Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 17International news | euronews, latest international news
- 18Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 19What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 20[Live] Catalonia: separatists heading for clear win in crucial elections
Latest world news
Thousands attend funeral ceremony in Tehran for Hajj crush victims
Flash floods in France leave a trail of death and destruction
#inondations: French president visits flood-hit region
Russian air strike hits terrorist training camp in Syria, say defence officials
Palestinians barred from visiting Jerusalem’s Old City amid tension
Wires > News
- 18:39 CET About 300 people still missing after Guatemala landslide
- 18:21 CET Pro-Moscow Social Democrats lead in Kyrgyz parliamentary election
- 18:14 CET Death toll in French Riviera floods rises to at least 16, natural…
- 18:11 CET Middle East would be more stable if Saddam, Gaddafi still in power…
- 17:56 CET Greek coast guard recovers body of migrant baby on Kos
- 16:41 CET Argentine ruling party extends presidential vote lead – poll
- 16:14 CET Russian cannot fight Islamic State and support Assad in Syria -…
- 15:44 CET EU and Turkey have struck plan to stem flow of migrants – newspaper