Another dispatch from Ukrainian emigre TPM Reader RS. Please note his own caveats about the reliability of the reports and the different actors trying to push their own narratives of events …
Just wanted to send you a quick note on events in Ukraine. I realize most of the world is concentrated on what’s going on in Crimea, some are already moving on. I just wanted to point to something else that’s going on.
There is some really dark stuff happening in eastern Ukraine. As you know it’s the heartland of the Russian speaking population in Ukraine (and Yanukovich’s base), and there was some thought that Putin might invade there, if things went completely off the wall. While that hasn’t happened, there have been many, semi-credible reports that busloads of Russian “tourists” have been coming over to basically start trouble, give the appearance of instability and maybe even the pretext for a Crimea style referendum. Obviously the pro-Maidan side is certainly pushing that angle, and it’s hard to say what’s actually going on without being there, on the ground.
In any case, there have been some violent confrontations, especially in Donetsk (Yanik’s hometown) and yesterday all hell broke lose. From the reports I’ve read, a pro-united Ukraine demonstration was winding down and people were heading home, when some of those people were attacked by what I can only call a pro-Russian lynch mob. Apparently up to 3 people are dead and dozens were injured. The video might be more shocking then anything I’ve seen at Maidan. Just brutal: