KIEV, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told law enforcement bodies Wednesday to check all lawmakers and political parties in the country for possible support of eastern Ukrainian pro-independence forces.
“I would like to request the Prosecutor General’s office, the SBU [the Security Service of Ukraine] and the Interior Ministry to investigate the activities of all individuals, including those vested with the lawmaker’s status, and file documents to the court and the parliament required to strip of parliamentary immunity and bring to justice all those who support separatists,” the prime minister told the Cabinet of Ministers.
“I also request the justice ministry to check parties and public organizations whose activities show signs of possible infringement on the territorial integrity of the state,” he added.
Last weekend, the local militias were forced to retreat from Slaviansk, Kramatorsk, Artemovsk and Druzhkivka toward Donetsk and Luhansk. Parliament Speaker of Novorossiya, the union of the self-proclaimed republics in eastern Ukraine, Oleg Tsarev said that Kiev-led troops had detained all law enforcement officers in Slaviansk and suspects them of helping independence supporters.
On Wednesday, the press service of the Ukrainian Cabinet announced that officials in the southern cities of Ukraine are being checked for possible militia support. The officials who helped the militia "…will be relieved of their duties. Moreover, they will be found guilty, and they will appear before the court to receive appropriate sentences," the press service said, citing Deputy Interior Minister Zoryan Shkiryak.
Since mid-April, Kiev authorities have been carrying out a military operation against the southeastern regions of Ukraine that refused to support the February coup in the country. The operation has led to multiple casualties, including among the civilian population. Despite calls by Moscow and the international community to start the de-escalation process, Kiev says it will not declare a ceasefire until independence supporters lay down their arms.