Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ukraine separatists parade captives

DONETSK, Ukraine — Seven European military officers and a translator being held hostage by pro-Russia separatists were paraded before the news media on Sunday, hours after another group of captives, three Ukrainian security agents, were shown on Russian TV huddled in a room, blindfolded and bloody.

Later in the day, pro-Russia activists took control of the state TV center in the regional capital of Donetsk without firing a shot. Members of a separatist movement called the Donetsk People's Republic, aided by a fight club from the eastern city of Kharkiv, stormed the broadcast facility.

The day's events showed eastern Ukraine slipping further into chaos, with armed separatists openly defying state authority and local police either folding in sympathy or admitting that they felt too intimidated to stop the pro-Russia groups.

As Moscow and Washington traded blame for a failure to halt the escalation in tension, diplomats moved to try to free the European military monitors.

Human rights observers say that as many as 24 people — journalists, activists, police officers, politicians and monitors — are being held in makeshift jails in Slovyansk, a city in the Donetsk region, in the heart of territory controlled by the separatists.

The Security Service of Ukraine said that three of its officers were captured by pro-Russia militants in the city of Horlivka, where the agents were investigating the recent torture and killing of a local politician and a university student. Both men were supporters of a unified Ukraine. Their bodies were found dumped in the river near Slovyansk.

In Slovyansk, hard-core separatists staged a news conference to display their captives, who were in Ukraine as part of a military observer mission operating under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"We wish from the bottom of our hearts to go back to our homes," said one of the observers, German Army Col. Axel Schneider. The separatists labeled the captives "NATO spies."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the parading of the military officers before the news media was "a breach of all the rules." He appealed to Russia to pressure the separatists to free the monitors.

Late Sunday, one of the monitors, a Swede, was released because of a medical condition.

Sanctions planned

The United States and other nations in the Group of Seven have announced plans to impose more economic sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine. The European Union also is planning more sanctions, with ambassadors from the bloc's 28 members to meet today in Brussels.

Associated Press

Ukraine separatists parade captives 04/28/14 [Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2014 2:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Washingon Post.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.

  2. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  3. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  4. Lego T-rex and scores of other brick sculptures free to see in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — Envision the effort that went into building a basic Lego model with your kids. Now imagine arranging the same toys to look like the Mona Lisa or an 80,020-piece Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  5. Rick Scott signs medical marijuana, 37 other bills into law

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott