April 16 - Some residents of Slaviansk in eastern Ukraine say they feel safer after some Ukrainian troops sided with pro-Russian protesters. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A sense of calm in the rebel-held town of Slaviansk as some residents express faith in the pro-Russian forces currently controlling the Ukrainian town. This man just wants security. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT STEPAN, SAYING: "I want stability. It is not important for me whether there is a Russian or Ukrainian flag, as long as I have something to eat, something to dress my child in. I don't want to walk around thinking, 'What am I going to do tomorrow? How am I going to feed my family? I want to work, to enjoy my work and get decent pay.'" Pro-Russian separatists continue to occupy government buildings -- bringing comfort to some residents. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, INNA, SAYING: "My opinion of the situation in our city is very positive. I am happy to welcome here these guys who are now defending all our interests. In the future, we are expecting a referendum. It is necessary, and it looks like that the the results will be we - want to join Russia." Some Ukrainian military vehicles are now being manned by separatists after some troops sided with pro-Russian protesters. The military setback leaves Kiev looking weak on the eve of a peace conference on Thursday, when its foreign minister will meet his Russian, U.S. and European counterparts in Geneva.