[“Moscow May Day parade lauds Putin as rebels seize more Ukraine buildings” – Reuters 5.1.14]
Reuters covers pro-Putin demonstrators staging a May Day rally in Moscow, even as pro-Russian militants engage in further unrest and rebellious activities in eastern Ukraine. Russia already has seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, declaring that it has annexed occupied Crimea into the Russian Federation.
Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow’s Red Square for the first time since the Soviet era on Thursday, with workers holding banners proclaiming support for President Vladimir Putin after the seizure of territory from neighboring Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government said that is helpless to defend government buildings against the pro-Russian militants in parts of the east of Ukraine.
In eastern Ukraine… the security situation deteriorated further. … Rebels in [Donetsk], capital of a province of about 4 million people, have declared a ‘People’s Republic of Donetsk’ and called [for] a referendum on secession ….
Ukraine’s leaders … conceded … they were ‘helpless’ to counter the fall of government buildings and police stations in the Donbass coal and steel belt, source of around a third of the country’s industrial output.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated that if Ukraine loses eastern Ukraine, the IMF would have to adjust its financial aid package:
The International Monetary Fund warned that if Ukraine lost territory in the east it would have to redesign a $17 billion bailout of the country, probably requiring additional financing.
Even as Russia denies accusations that it is fomenting the unrest, Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially had threatened to use the presence of ethnic Russians in Ukraine as a basis for international invasion.
And Ukraine is expelling Russia’s military attache to Ukraine as a spy, declaring that they caught him “red-handed” with classified information obtained from a Ukrainian military officer.
Russia denies having any part in the rebellion, but has warned it reserves the right to intervene to protect ethnic Russians and has massed tens of thousands of troops on its western frontier with Ukraine.
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Kiev ordered the expulsion of Russia’s military attaché … saying it had caught him ‘red-handed receiving classified information from a colonel in Ukraine’s armed forces on the country’s cooperation with NATO.
Western sanctions have been limited, yet already are scaring off investors. And the CEO of Alcoa reportedly has decided to not attend the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum later this month.