Ukraine crisis: Interim government to reintroduce military conscription in face of Russian security threat

President Turchynov said he made the decision in light of Russian "threats" against "Ukrainian integrity"

The interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov announced on Thursday that the country will renew military conscription, in response to what the government views as an intensifying security threat from Russia.

The decision came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine should end its military presence in the eastern and southern regions of the country, where pro-Moscow insurgents have seized buildings. 

Last year Ukraine announced plans for its army to become an all-volunteer force, but Mr Turchynov ordered on Thursday that the draft must be re-instated in light of “threats of encroachment on Ukraine's territorial integrity and interference by Russia in the internal affairs of Ukraine.”

Mr Turchynov did not, however, specify if new conscripts would be deployed.

Earlier in the day, anti-government protesters took over the regional prosecutor’s office in the city of Donetsk, after riot police were unable to stop activists from entering the building using stun grenades and tear gas. 

As the confrontation escalated, some in the crowd threw rocks and managed to wrest away shields from police. An Associated Press reporter saw a handful of officers being dragged away and beaten by members of the crowd.

Meanwhile, in the town of Amvrosiivka, around 30 armed men arrived in six cars and took over the city council and forced the mayor to resign, according to local news website Novosti.

Protests have been taking place in eastern provinces bordering Russia for weeks, where support for ousted pro-Moscow former President Viktor Yanukovych has not abated.

Read more: Death toll rises in a nation fearful of more bloodshed

Mr Turchynov has twice proclaimed “anti-terrorist” operations to regain control of the east, but with little success.

The assault on the prosecutor's office involved protesters more heavily armed than in other government office seizures, with at least one firebomb being thrown at the building during the clash.

Armed protests have been focused on Slovyansk, a city 110 kilometers (70 miles) north of Donetsk, in which seven European observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe remain held by pro-Russia gunmen.

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked President Putin his assistance in freeing the group during a phone conversation on Thursday.

Christiane Wirtz, a spokeswoman for Merkel, said the conversation focused on the “the continuing hostage-taking of the OSCE observers by separatists in eastern Ukraine.”

She added that Mrs Merkel “appealed to the president to use his influence” in resolving the situation.

Russia denies allegations from Kiev and the West that it is influencing or fomenting the unrest in eastern Ukraine. The Kremlin also confirmed the conversation and said Putin stressed “the main thing was for Ukraine to withdraw its troops from southeastern Ukraine, stop the violence and quickly start a broad national dialogue on constitutional reform.”

On Wednesday, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said it had detained the military attache at Russia's embassy on suspicion of spying and would remove him from the country. Russia has made no public comment on the issue.

Additional reporting by AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy