NATO Promises More Military Presence as Pro-Russian Forces Take More Buildings in East Ukraine
Pro-Russian forces continue to push their way through east Ukraine targeting more government buildings in Donetsk and Sloviansk. After these incidents, NATO announced they are going to add more troops in eastern Europe.
Forces took over city hall in Donetsk and forced out the mayor.
Pro-Russian forces took Ukrainian armored vehicles and drove them to Sloviansk with Russian flags on top. There were a few people who cheered on the rebels while others were not happy with the developments.
The vehicles stopped near a government building in Slovyansk and flew Russian flags while residents chanted "Good job! Good job!"
"We will never allow the fascist Kiev authorities to come here," said Andrei Bondar, 32, a Slovyansk resident.
But Tetyana Kustova, 35, a sales clerk, was appalled by the unrest.
"They are pushing us towards Russia," she said. "They are tearing Ukraine into pieces."
According to the Associated Press, the tanks arrived from the nearby town of Kramatorsk. The Ukrainian army retook the airport yesterday. Another man told the Associated Press reporter the men were members of the 25th Brigade of Airborne Forces and defected from the Ukraine army.
"Our bosses made the decision and we obeyed," he said.
The man's statement couldn't be independently confirmed and the Defense Ministry had no comment on the events. At the same time, Serhiy Sobolev, the head of a parliamentary faction, which is part of the governing coalition, asserted that the men who drove the armored vehicles into Slovyansk under Russian flags were in fact Ukrainian soldiers conducting a false-flag operation.
"These are our military units who used the partisan method of infiltration into the facilities that today are controlled by Russian military forces and those separatists who are financed by them," Sobolev was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.
Journalists in Ukraine posted pictures and videos on Twitter that show residents of towns trying to stop the Ukraine army.
NATO decided to add more forces to eastern Europe to combat more threats from Russia. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but nearby neighbors Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithunia are. From The Guardian:
"You will see deployments at sea, in the air, on land to take place immediately – that means within days," the Nato secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, told a news conference after the decision was taken by Nato ambassadors.
Nato fighter aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region, allied ships will deploy to the Baltic sea, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, and allied military staff will be sent out to improve Nato's preparedness, training and exercises, Rasmussen said.
Rasmussen also said NATO will place air patrols on Poland and Romania’s eastern borders.