Will be a war crime to use force against Ukraine civilians, Russia warns self-proclaimed president

The self-proclaimed president of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchinov (Reuters/Alex Kuzmin)The self-proclaimed president of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchinov (Reuters/Alex Kuzmin).

The self-imposed president of Ukraine Aleksandr Turchinov will be considered a “war criminal” in case he uses military force against the population of south-eastern part of Ukraine, Russia’s lower house Speaker Sergey Naryshkin reportedly warned.
Naryshkin held a phone conversation with Aleksandr Turchinov from  the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, who is leading a  self-proclaimed government in Kiev. During the conversation  Naryshkin reportedly warned Turchinov against deploying forces  against Ukrainians resisting Kiev, a source told RIA Novosti.
The Ukrainian side has stated that it has no plans to resort to  use of force against citizens.
Russia’s Federation Council unanimously approved on Saturday  President Vladimir Putin’s request to use Russian military forces  in Ukraine to protect ethnic Russians following a request from  authorities in Crimea.
Turchinov has ordered a full mobilization of Ukraine’s armed  forces and ordered to boost security at nuclear power plants,  airports and other sites citing threat of “potential  aggression” from Russia.
It is unlikely that the interim government in Kiev will send  troops to Crimea, believes political commentator Aleksandr  Nekrasov, but even their rhetoric is enough to escalate tensions.
“Ever since they have seized power in Kiev, I think they were  getting desperate by the day because they have suddenly realized  that they are not getting that money which they hoped to get at  once,” Nekrasov told RT. “And this desperation showed  the fact that they have repeated all those warnings about Russian  invasion, Russian aggression and so on and so forth and now we  see them desperate enough to make all sorts of provocative  statements and basically implying that the danger of war is  rising.”
The crisis in Ukraine escalated after a revolution forced  President Viktor Yanukovich leave the capital. The developments  follow an appeal by the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Republic  of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, who requested that Russia to help  cope with the crisis and ensure “peace and calm” in the  region.
One of the first orders of the new self-proclaimed government  abolished the use of other languages in official circumstances in  Ukraine. It sparked a wave of mass protests in Eastern Ukraine,  where a vast ethnic Russian contingent is living and the majority  of population speak Russian.
Feeling a threat from the new government of questionable  legitimacy, a number of regions stood up against it. Thousands of  people across eastern and southern Ukraine are flooding the  streets of major cities, carrying Russian flags and urging local  authorities to disobey Kiev’s orders. The local population is  calling the government in Kiev illegitimate and demanding that  their local governments refuse to take orders from it.
Russia, too, has voiced doubts over the legitimacy of the  self-proclaimed government, citing the procedural violations the  Ukrainian parliament committed in ousting Yanukovich, appointing  a new cabinet and taking control of the country’s judiciary.  Moscow is also concerned over reports that some MPs were forced  to change their votes under threat of physical violence.
Moscow on Saturday referred the issue to the Venice Commission of  the Council of Europe, an advisory body with expertise in  constitutional law. A similar request to monitor the legitimacy  of the actions in Kiev was addressed to the Interparliamentary  Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which brings  together MPs from most former republics of the Soviet Union.

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