14/04/2014 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today with me, Philippa Thomas. Pro-Russian


demonstrations spread in East Ukraine, as governments in Europe


and the US urge restraint. As protestors ransack another police


station, Britain blames Moscow for orchestrating the violence. There is


very little doubt, there cannot be any real doubt, that this is


something which has been planned and brought about by Russia. Oscar


Pistorius is accused of concocting his evidence after another day of


dramatic exchanges at his murder trial. In the Nigerian capital,


leaving at least 70 people dead. And has Banksy been at it again? The


Graffiti Guru is believed to be behind this piece of street art,


satirising British spies. Hello and welcome. Militants now occupy


government buildings in at least ten cities in eastern Ukraine. The


deadline at which the Ukraine government in Kiev said it would


launch a "large scale anti terrorist operation" against them, came and


went today. Far from backing down, it seems the protests have


intensified. Russian media say President Putin has received


requests for help and intervention from several parts of eastern


Ukraine. In the latest development, the rebels have seized another


police station, in Horlivka, near Donetsk. Daniel Sandford reports on


the day's events. SHOUTING. A moment of extreme attention today as the


morning shoppers emerged from their homes. Gunmen suddenly took up


defensive positions. There was a rumour that government forces were


about to attack this rebellious town in Eastern Ukraine. In the end, the


attack never came. Despite the threat of what the Kiev government


called an anti-terrorist operation, the people here have remained


resolutely in place and the barricades are still standing. I


asked the men manning the defences if they were worried about a


possible attack. TRANSLATION: Of course we are worried. Although here


it is peaceful, we stand up for our principles. Then, as we went through


the checkpoints, the news that pro-Russian militia were storming


another police headquarters. This was the scene at the police station,


where activists smashed windows, threw rocks and quickly took over


the building, placing a Russian flag outside. The chief of police ended


up in hospital with a broken skull. Even on the day that the Kiev


government had threatened to start attacking those in the East taking


over police stations, they have taken another one. Inside, we found


some people still at their desks, now apparently loyal to the new


power in town. Then these pictures emerged in which a man who claims to


be a Lieutenant Colonel in the Russian Army addresses some of the


police in the road. The same man can also be seen on mobile phone footage


addressing the crowd outside the building, after the takeover. This


is fuelling concerns that Russia is fuelling these protests. We found


many people with genuine grievances against the Ukrainian government.


TRANSLATION: All the 23 years that Ukraine has been in charge here,


they have been stealing. It was all further evidence that Kiev is


struggling to control the rebellious East although the number of people


actively supporting the uprising is still quite small. James Reynolds is


in Donetsk. Are you finding that the number of protesters is relatively


small, although they are obviously making a big show of it? We are


finding, when we look at the occupations of those buildings in


ten cities, they are not mass occupations in terms of hundreds of


thousands of people. They looked to be occupations by certain groups of


people. Here in Donetsk, the traffic is normal, people are going about


their business, there is a Ukrainian flag on a nearby building. There is


also a Russian flag. There are localised pockets of trouble, but


the government in Kiev, any localised problems, are still big


political problems. The occupation of one police station will be too


much for Kiev. Other protesters feeling fairly confident tonight, in


that the big operation threatened by Kiev did not happen? I am sure they


will be. You will have seen that they were not particularly worried


when that deadline came along. They either thought it would not happen


or thought they would survive it. They have done so. They will not be


particularly worried by any more deadlines or ultimatums in the next


few days, it should the authorities decide to issue any more. Russia is


still playing at the strongman. There have been fairly aggressive


tactics from a Russian fighter jet over the weekend. This happened on


Saturday in their Black Seed. A Russian jet flew about 900 metres by


several times by a US destroyer for about 90 minutes US called the


action provocative. The jet appeared to be unarmed, but it indicates the


kind of tensions there are at the moment between the United States and


States and Russia and this is a sum -- symbolic act. Thank you. With me


is Robin Niblett. He's Director of the think-tank The Royal Institute


of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House. What do you make


of the way the Russians are playing this? Is there an appetite for war?


I think they would like to avoid that, as would all sides. There is a


clear determination not to allow the elections to proceed in Ukraine in


May as planned. There is a clear determination to want to make sure


that the idea of a federal Ukraine, a Russian concept of a federal


Ukraine, in which Ukrainian provinces would be able to determine


their own external relations. A group of small parts of the East


cannot be integrated into Ukraine in the way the government would want.


Why is so determined not to have the elections go ahead? Ultimately, if


the election takes place, it will become clear how many citizens in


the East really want to join Russia in the way that Crimea did. There is


far more ambivalent amongst the populations in the east than one


might think, certainly by Russian leaders. We are in a situation by


having troops on the border and the example of Crimea and having other


groups in there, moving the situation forward, we have an


impression of an East which wants to detach itself, even though most


analysts do not believe that. There is some breaking news that the White


House has said that President Obama is to contact President Putin,


making clear that the US is not considering legal aid for Ukraine.


Is this positive? President Putin will have to determine how he has


handled himself. Ultimately, the decisions that will be made, will be


determined by how Russia handles this. There is no circumstance under


which western troops would get involved in Ukraine. There is not a


military option on the western side. The strength is economic, Russia's


economy is in a weak position, but the issue of sanctions, very


gradually held and held in reserve in key is something more extreme is


done, but in the meantime, trade agreements with Ukraine, financial


aid, opening up markets in the EU to products from Ukraine, that is


detaching that part of the Ukraine which wants to be part of the EU.


Thank you. The South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, has been accused in


court of "concocting his evidence" about the night he shot dead his


girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. It's been suggested she wanted to leave


after a row. He insists he woke up and thought there was an intruder in


the house. Our correspondent Andrew Harding reports from Pretoria. Back


in court and some well-wishers waiting for Oscar Pistorius. He


strode aside the balloons, the hug was harder to escape. In court,


there was no hint of sympathy from Gerrie Nel, a prosecutor dubbed the


Pit bull. Your version is so a probable that it cannot be


reasonable. The focus again today, the circumstances of Reeva


Steenkamp's death, the prosecutor looking for holes in the story of


Oscar Pistorius, insisting the couple had a fight. I am saying that


she wanted to leave and that you were not sleeping. You were both


awake. That is not correct. It is untrue. There was an argument. Then


Oscar Pistorius was asked again about his movement from the bedroom


to the bathroom, where he says he feared intruders had broken in. I


screamed, I shouted get out of my house! Get out of my house! But


Gerrie Nel was sceptical. He got a policeman to sit in the toilet


cubicle, reconstructed in court, to show where Reeva Steenkamp might


have been. Under relentless pressure, Oscar Pistorius struggled


badly, sometimes evasive, sometimes changing his evidence as the


prosecutor kept asking how it was possible he had fired four times


without checking who was on the other side. You fired at Reeva. The


other versions are not true. You fired at her. Why are you getting


emotional? I did not fire at Reeva! This was a tough day for the athlete


who was not shown on the cameras, as usual. His evidence has been shown


to be incomplete and at times inconsistent. Here is some of our


other new. In other news... The trial has begun in Libya of Saif


al-Islam, the son of the deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He


faces charges of corruption and war crimes. A number of former senior


officials are also being tried, including Colonel Gaddafi's former


spy chief and former Prime Minister. Police investigating a tip-off


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