14 March, 14:49

Russia will protect compatriots in Ukraine - Foreign Ministry

Russia will protect compatriots in Ukraine - Foreign Ministry

Russia realizes its responsibility for the lives of fellow citizens and nationals in Ukraine and reserves the right to protect them, the Russian Foreign Ministry said when commenting on the attack on protestors in Donetsk, which occurred on March 13.

"Russia realizes its responsibility for the lives of fellow citizens and nationals in Ukraine and reserves the right to take people under our protection," the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its website on Friday."Tragic events occurred in Donetsk on March 13, 2014, and blood was shed," the document said.

"Extreme rightist groups armed with weapons and bats, who started to arrive to the city from other regions of the country the day before, have attacked peaceful protestors, who came to the city streets in order to demonstrate their attitude towards the destructive stance of people calling themselves the Ukrainian authorities.

Many people were injured and one person died as a result of the clashed," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the Maidan leaders who came to power in Kiev to disarm militants and ensure public safety.

"We have repeatedly stated that those who came to power in Kiev must disarm militants, ensure public safety and the legitimate right of people to hold rallies. Unfortunately, judging from the latest events in Ukraine, none of these happened, and the Kiev authorities cannot control the situation in the country. Russia is aware of its responsibility for the lives of fellow countrymen in Ukraine, and reserves the right to take people under protection," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.

The public prosecutor's office has initiated a criminal case, investigating the riots that took place in Donetsk on March 13, the press service of the office in Donetsk region reports.

"It has been established that there was a conflict between the participants of the rallies on Lenin Square which escalated into disorders," one person was killed, another 29 were injured, said the prosecutor.

"The prosecutor's office of the Donetsk region also inspects actions or inaction of law enforcement officials, who were to ensure public order during peaceful rallies. Following a comprehensive and complete analysis of police actions, appropriate proceeding decisions will be made," the office notes.

Russia's State Duma deputies to observe referendum in Crimea

State Duma deputies will observe the upcoming referendum in Crimea scheduled for March 16, head of the State Duma department for public relations and interaction with mass media Yuri Shuvalov said.

Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Leonid Slutsky and his first deputy Oleg Lebedev "will arrive in Crimea just at the referendum in order to inform the parliament about the pace of the referendum", Shuvalov said.

Slutsky told Itar-Tass that "we've decided to give an observer status to deputies, who stay in Crimea. Among them are deputy speaker Sergei Neverov, first deputy head of the United Russia party faction Nikolai Bulayev, deputy head of the LDRP faction Yaroslav Nilov and Mikhail Degtyarev (LDPR)".

Deputies "will comply with their observer mandate and represent the State Duma at the referendum in Crimea at the invitation of Supreme Council speaker Vladimir Konstantinov", Slutsky said.

State Duma observers are expected to meet leaders of the Crimean Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers, as well as the coordination councils of Russian compatriots, the Duma lawmaker said.

Voice of Russia, TASS, Interfax

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