Protesters in East Ukraine, Kiev Will Not Honor Geneva Agreement

Protesters in East Ukraine, Kiev Will Not Honor Geneva Agreement

The US, European Union, Ukraine, and Russia agreed on a plan to de-escalate the violence in east Ukraine, but the pro-Russian forces are not listening. Occupiers of government buildings refuse to leave.

In the agreement, Ukraine said the occupiers must leave the buildings and will grant them amnesty unless accused of capital offenses. Denis Pushilin, self-declared leader of Donetsk People’s Republic, said the forces do not recognize the government in Kyiv and should vacate those buildings too.

“This is a reasonable agreement but everyone should vacate the buildings and that includes [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk and [Oleksandr] Turchynov,” he said referring to the acting Ukrainian prime minister and president. He reiterated the call for a referendum that he said will allow “self-determination of the people.”

Sloviansk’s acting mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov echoed Pushilin’s views.

Moscow has made it known they do not recognize the new government as well. The West pushed Moscow to hold diplomatic talks with Kyiv, but on more than one occasion Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said no talks will happen until a legitimate leader emerges.

This problem is not limited to the east. Protesters at Maidan in Independence Square in Kyiv will not leave until after the May 25 presidential elections.

“For us, for Ukraine, for the people on Maidan, it means nothing, it is piece of paper. It is an agreement that was signed behind our backs,” engineer Valery Levchunets, 46, told AFP on the square.