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Ukrainian Unrest Sparks Demonstrations, Violence

At the rally, one speaker denounced the Ukrainian protesters and Russian NGOs as U.S. agents.

Published: February 5, 2014 (Issue # 1796)



  • Protesters at a rally in support of Ukraines Berkut special police force in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Pro-Kremlin demonstrators, who staged a rally in support of Ukraines Berkut special police force and against alleged U.S. involvement in the Euromaidan protests on Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa on Sunday, attacked a journalist as she tried to interview the participants.

Anastasia Mironova, a reporter with Ekho Peterburga, the local branch of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, was punched in the face as the demonstrators accused her of being a traitor and a foreign spy, according to the Ekho Peterburga website. The website did not refer to the reporter by name, but it was disclosed by other local media outlets.

About 25 people were present at the authorized rally headlined Berkut, Russia is with you, organized by State Duma deputy Yevgeny Fyodorovs National Liberation Movement (NOD).

Fyodorov is a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, while his movement is set to back President Vladimir Putin as Russias national leader similar to Alexander Nevsky and Giuseppe Garibaldi and oppose what he calls the U.S. occupation of Russia.

His official website claims that Russia has been a U.S. colony since it was defeated in the 40-year war against the U.S. in 1991, had its constitution written by Americans and since then has paid a levy of $1 billion a day to the U.S.

At the rally, one speaker denounced the Ukrainian protesters and Russian NGOs as U.S. agents, warned about an impending world war, and praised the Berkut police for defending the Ukrainian people from foreign aggression. At one stage, he pointed at journalists and said to his supporters, Look at the photographers taking pictures. Its clear whom they work for by their typical behavior.

The participants held flags and placards reading, Berkut, Russia is with you, March of liberation. The time has come to liberate the country again, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus have been a single country for centuries and Hands off Ukraine, State Department.

The conflict started when the participants got hold of a large amount of brochures about corruption related to the Olympic Games in Sochi. Co-written by opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, the brochures were distributed by liberal activists on Nevsky Prospekt, close to the location of the rally.

Participants of the pro-Berkut rally began to destroy the brochures and attacked Mironova when she asked where they had taken the materials from, according to the Ekho Peterburga website. The demonstrators knocked a camera from the hands of the reporter who was recording the event and then punched her in the eye, it reported.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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