Ukraine Day 1121: LIVE UPDATES BELOW. Forty-five protesters supporting a blockade of Russia-backed separatist-controlled regions of southeast Ukraine were detained in clashes with the National Guard this evening. Seven officers were injured and MP Volodymyr Parasyuk was hospitalized after being teargassed.
Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflict can be found here.
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Russia-backed forces fired 54 times on Ukrainian positions; 2 Ukrainian soldiers were wounded and one sustained a concussion today, March 14, Liga.net reported, citing the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operation] dispatch.
Military spokesmen confirmed that yesterday, March 13, 1 Ukrainian soldier was killed and 8 wounded.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick
National Guardsman in a confrontation with blockaders. Photo by dn.npu.gov.ua.
Clashes broke out Tuesday evening March 14 at a checkpoint near the entry to Slavyansk.
Blockade supporter Laura Litvinenko reported on her Facebook page that National Guardsman formed a wall of soldiers and refused to allow in even the MP Parasiuk (translation by The Interpreter):
“They didn’t react to his request to show their ID. Our guys then started pushing through. The National Guardsmen removed their trigger locks, but our guys didn’t care. Finally, the law-enforcers were evidently afraid of using their weapons. They began beating the civilians with clubs and using tear gas. They attacked everyone there, including the MP, with canisters of tear gas. As a result, three people, including Volodya Parasiuk were hospitalized (burnt lungs).”
But according to a report from Unian.net, Col. Yuriy Goluban of the National Guard told 112 Ukraine:
“MP Parasiuk came out and with threats, started insulting the police with swear language and tried to provoke a fight. Parasiuk gave the command to his people who had come with him in the convoy and they got out [of the vehicles]. About 40-45 people attacked the police. I made the decision not to use firearms since an MP was there. After they broke through the checkpoint, they got into a car and drove away along the road. Five officers of my division sustained injuries of various degrees of severity. One officer was run over by Parasiuk’s car, two officers of the division suffered facial traumas and two officers were sprayed with teargas.”
Parasyuk is best known for taking the stage on the Maidan after a “peace agreement” was reached between the opposition and former president Viktor Yanukovych. He denounced the pact and called for a storming of Yanukovych’s residence the next day. Yanukovych subsequently fled to Russia that night. Parasyuk has been involved in a number of violent incidents, including a clash with police in February, and was accused by Oleg Lyashko of striking police on that occasion as well. Parasyuk denied the claims.
Later this evening, Abroskin updated this report to say 7 policemen had been injured in the clashes.
Sentiments have been boiling with a number of clashes between law-enforcers and activists, frustrated with the ongoing war, mounting blockades against trade with the Russia-backed separatist regions.
Yesterday in Lutsk, dozens of people occupied the Regional State Administration building near the Volyna Regional State Administration building and demanded the release of blockaders who had been detained in their region.
She said police began checking the demonstrators for weapons and they refused to cooperate or show their ID. About 45 blockaders were subsequently detained; 8 guns, 2 grenades, powder, detonators and ammunition were confiscated from them. All the detainees were subsequently released the same day.
The Volyna Regional Council issued a statement condemning the arrest of the blockaders and urging that trade with the separatist-controlled territories be halted.
— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick