Violence broke out in southern Ukraine
2 mins read

Violence broke out in southern Ukraine

Supporters of Ukraine’s new government (left) clashed with supporters who wanted to follow Russia in Crimea yesterday.

According to AP, about 20,000 Tatars, a long-standing Muslim ethnic group in the autonomous republic of Crimea, took to the streets yesterday to show support for new leaders in Kiev and clashed with policy supporters.

Residents belonging to the Tatars chanted `Ukraine! Ukraine!`

`We stand with Maidan, we want to join the European Union,` said Saitmemet Muratov, a businessman in the crowd, referring to the protest movement in Kiev.

Tatars, a Turkish ethnic group that has lived in Crimea since the 13th century, were deported to Siberia and Central Asia in 1944. Many people died of starvation there.

Just a few meters away, another crowd shouted `Nga! Nga!`.

Meanwhile, Alexandre, another protester, criticized the new leaders in Kiev as `fascist`.

Both sides shouted and attacked each other with rocks, bottles, tear gas and batons, while police and leaders from both sides tried to stop the chaotic crowd.

Crimea’s Ministry of Health, which belonged to Russia until 1954 but was later handed over to Ukraine, said at least 20 people were injured.

Violence broke out in southern Ukraine

Map of Ukraine and the autonomous republic of Crimea.

Meanwhile, the head of Crimea’s parliament rejected demands to discuss separation from the rest of Ukraine and criticized it as a `provocative` idea.

`The question of separation from Ukraine will not be raised before the Crimean parliament,` president Volodymir Konstantinov said in an attempt to defuse the situation.

Concerns about separatist trends in eastern and southern Ukraine have grown stronger since former president Viktor Yanukovych was deposed and fled Kiev.

Ukraine’s interim leader Oleksandr Turchynov warned on February 25 that there were `dangerous signs of secession` after about 10,000 Russian supporters occupied the main square in Crimea’s port city of Sevastopol last weekend.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov affirmed Russia’s policy of `non-intervention` militarily in neighboring countries.

Clashes in Crimea:

Violence broke out in southern Ukraine

Violence broke out in southern Ukraine

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