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Kyiv offers amnesty to pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine


Ukraine

Kyiv offers amnesty to pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine

Ukraine’s acting president has offered an amnesty to pro-Russian protesters who have seized government buildings in the east of the country.

Oleksandr Turchynov said he guaranteed they would not be prosecuted if they voluntarily surrendered weapons and gave up the premises.

He added that he had spoken by phone with demonstrators who have taken over a Security Service building in Luhansk.

But they have rejected the offer.

“The terms offered are unacceptable to us. They are promising clemency in exchange for our giving up our weapons – this is not appropriate for us,” said Sergei Korsunsky, one of the protest leaders.

The offer is understood also to apply to protesters in Donetsk, who are occupying the main regional government headquarters.

The First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema, sent to the city to solve the crisis, said on Wednesday night that he hoped demonstrators would leave during the day.

But some pro-Russian activists show no sign of giving up.

“My mood is just fabulous. This is the Russian Spring, and it’s continuing. We’ve stood firm for a fourth night, and everybody is in a fabulous mood,” said Oleksandr, one of the demonstrators

The 48-hour ultimatum by pro-European authorities in Kyiv for protesters to leave buildings or face force runs out on Friday.

Pro-Russian activists have continued to ignore it and reinforce barricades.

Separatists are openly calling on Russia’s President Putin to intervene.

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