Residents of the Luhansk region are ready to stand up as a human shield on the way of military columns. Yesterday, the locals managed to block the movement of a column of armored vehicles. People's dissatisfaction in the incumbent Kiev authorities in the region has been growing against the backdrop of worsening living standards. The governor of the region received an ultimatum from the people: to recognize the Kiev government illegitimate power and start preparing for the referendum.
Tanks appeared in the forest, on the outskirts of the small village of Raygorodok, which is seventy kilometers from Luhansk. Armored vehicles and military trucks are there too. Local residents came to talk to the military men. The commander of the unit asked the people not to look for an enemy in him. He told the people that the column in Raygorodok arrived from the city of Zhitomir. The soldiers were ordered to suppress the riots in the town of Slavyansk, the Donetsk region, but they do not want to shoot at civilians.
Ten kilometers from Raygorodok, there is a small mining town of Stakhanov. The echo of the military campaign launched by the Kiev authorities against its own population is still weak there. On the central square of the town, there is a tent of self-defense activists, near which people gather.
Stakhanov used to be the largest industrial center in the Luhansk region. There were four mines and 20 plants in the town, heavy machinery and chemical production. Today, only two companies are left. "In recent months, we have been impoverished, - says a local resident . - We were unhappy with Yanukovych, but there was no arbitrariness when he was in power. My daughter works at school, and she was told that she would now receive only 50 percent of the salary," the woman said.
Prices in local grocery stores have been growing steadily. Since late February, they have gone up by forty percent. People are desperate, and the quiet town is about to explode at any minute. In less than a week a small camp in Stakhanov has grown into a township of nearly 50 tents.
In connection with the start of the military operation in the Donetsk region, tensions in Luhansk have reached their limit.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is deeply concerned about the military operation in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, where there are already victims. Moscow urges international partners to condemn Kiev's actions that may entail a disaster.
"This is a crime to fight with your own people, who stand up for their legitimate rights. Nationalist chaos captures Ukraine again. What is happening now indicates the stubborn refusal of the Kiev authorities to establish the much-needed dialogue with Ukrainian regions. Nobody can remain indifferent to the tragic escalation of the situation in Ukraine. We urge our international partners to condemn these unconstitutional and fraught with disaster actions of the so-called "new Ukrainian authorities," Alexander Lukashevich, the director of the department of information and press of the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation said, vesti.ru reports.
Meanwhile, the British Guardian wrote that the commander of the military operation in the south-east of Ukraine is Vasily Krutov, a former commander of special forces unit "Alpha." He was appointed deputy head of the Security Service of Ukraine and was entrusted with the execution of the military intervention. Krutov commands all law-enforcement units of Ukraine's Security Service, as well as police and military units. He had previously told journalists that the protesters in the east of the country can be destroyed if they do not lay down their arms and surrender. Vasily Krutov is 64; he is lieutenant-general of the SBU in reserve.
Russia's Aerospace Forces are prepared to repel any possible counteroffensive of the Ukrainian forces, a Russian pilot said