About 200 US reservists, whose arrival in Crimea in southern Ukraine sparked anti-NATO protests, will leave by Monday, but planned military exercises may still take place, Ukraine’s navy quoted by AFP has said. “Half of them (reservists) are in the process of taking buses to Simferopol from where they will take a plane and return to their country,” navy spokesman Volodymyr Bova said. “The other half will follow tomorrow (Monday)”. He said that the decision had been taken because the “reservists’ contracts had expired” and that it did not mean the cancellation of the upcoming NATO military maneuvers in Crimea.
“The holding of the exercises Sea Breeze 2006 will be decided by parliament,” which will consider the matter on June 14, Bova said. Several dozen anti-NATO demonstrators had gathered in front of the building where the US reservists were staying to observe their departure, he added. Besides local protests in Crimea, the planned exercises also triggered reaction from Moscow, which warned the United States and NATO not to push too hard to bring Ukraine into the fold. Ukrainian authorities say that Russians have taken part in the protests, in violation of Ukrainian law. A leading Ukrainian weekly has said that the demonstrations have been masterminded by the Russian special security services, the FSB. The Sea Breeze 2006 exercises were designed to strengthen ties between the pro-Western government in Kiev and the NATO. Last week Ukrainian Security Service deported Russian journalist and a politician
Alexander Kots, a reporter for the Russian Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper, was forced to leave Crimea on Friday. “The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) exerted pressure on the journalist, who wrote a number of stories on protests against NATO and US-Ukrainian military exercises,” the press service of the newspaper told Interfax. “They put him in a vehicle and talked to him, threatening to deport him, they demanded that the journalist leave Ukraine, and he was forced to do so,” the press service said. As of yet, there are no details on the incident, the press service said. Head of the Russian Eurasian Youth Union (EYU) Pavel Zarifullin was also detained at the Kiev Borispol Airport by the SBU. According to Ukrainian media, he arrived to Kiev on June 9 to organize a series of protest actions of his NGO in Feodosia, Nikolayev, and other Ukrainian cities. The protest actions were supposed to be directed against the proposed NATO and US joint military exercises.
Earlier Zarifullin and his co-head Valeriy Korovin said at a press conference in Moscow that they announce a creation of people’s insurgent army to resist the US occupation of Crimea. After performing a thorough check, the Ukrainian security handed Zarifullin a paper on exclusion him from the country and deporting him back to Russia.
The Acting Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defence of Ukraine Vladimir Gorbulin believes that the Russian mass media present the information on Ukraine in the manner that strengthens mistrust of the population of the Russian Federation and the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine to the Ukrainian authority. Gorbulin has declared this at a briefing on Friday in Kiev. Reporting on the briefing, online paper Liga.net writes that at the same time Gorbulin emphasized that more often the arrival of the Russian politicians to Ukraine, especially in the context of the last events in the Crimea, is presented in such a manner that they ostensibly can essentially improve the situation in Ukraine.
Â “Now all the mass-media writes that Zyuganov is coming. Zyuganov and two more persons. It is presented in the way that Zyuganov’s arrival would change something in the life of Feodosia,” Gorbulin emphasized. According to the Acting Secretary, the Russian politicians use to attend the planned-in-advance meetings, make corresponding statements addressed to the Ukrainian authority and then leave, but the press informs the society on every step of those politicians. For what do we write about every step they will make staying in Feodosia, Simferopol or any other place?” Gorbulin asked. “They do not behave as normal visitors normal in a foreign country,” Gorbulin added.