Support The Moscow Times!

Protesters Storm Kharkiv Theater Thinking It Was City Hall

Pro-Russian protesters (L) gather outside the regional administration building as Interior Ministry personnel stand guard nearby in Kharkiv. Stringer / Reuters

Pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine mistook a theater for the city hall and stormed the wrong building, a local journalist said, citing the case as evidence that the protesters were not local.

Protesters who took over Kharkiv City Hall over the weekend first broke into the town's opera and ballet theater, but left upon finding a concert hall inside, journalist Vyacheslav Mavrichev said on his Facebook page.

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has accused the Kremlin of orchestrating "separatist unrest" in Kharkiv and eastern cities Donetsk and Lugansk, while officials say that many pro-Russia protesters in east Ukraine may in fact be Russian.

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said there was "strong evidence" to suggest some of these demonstrators were paid and were not local residents."

Former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said protesters she saw in Donetsk had a military bearing and "did not look like residents" of the town, Ukraine's reported.

The administration building in Kharkiv had been cleared of "separatist" protesters who seized it over the weekend, Avakov said Monday.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more