DONETSK, Ukraine — A demonstration organized by pro-Ukrainian groups in this eastern city became violent when masked men attacked with bats and tear gas late Monday.
Dozens of men dressed in military fatigues and wielding baseball bats waded into the rally of some 2,000 people in Donetsk, heart of a separatist uprising against Kiev, according to Reuters. They lobbed fire-crackers and what appeared to be at least one stun grenade.
Some of the baseball bat-wielding militants were wearing "People's Republic of Donetsk" shirts. A few pro-Ukraine riot police chased them but most either froze or scattered. The chaos lasted about 10 minutes.
MARKO DJURICA / Reuters
Pro-Russian protesters attack a pro-Ukranian protester during a pro-Ukraine rally in the eastern city of Donetsk April 28, 2014.
An NBC News team that got caught up in the melee also heard loud explosions and saw people with blood on their faces. A producer for NBC News partner ITN was hit in the back of the head with a brick and was sent to the hospital for evaluation.
A woman who said she was organizing medical care for the wounded said that five people suffered head injuries and were taken to the hospital, two more injured and not taken to the hospital and another five people were unaccounted for.
The rally, during which people chanted "Donetsk is Ukraine!" and waved the Ukrainian flag, dispersed after the violence.
ALEXANDER KHUDOTEPLY / AFP - Getty Images
Pro-Russia militiants hold flares as they attack people marching at a rally for Ukrainian national unity in the eastern Ukrainan city of Donetsk on April 28, 2014.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Ukraine's second biggest city was shot in the back on Monday, the highest profile assassination attempt in eastern Ukraine since a standoff between Moscow and Kiev began two months ago.
Gennady Kernes underwent two hours of surgery after the attack in Kharkiv, one eastern city where police have managed to dislodge pro-Moscow rebels.
Surgeon Valery Boiko said his life would hang in the balance for the next few days.
Kernes, 54, went into politics after making his fortune in the gangster-ridden post-communist 1990s.
After protesters toppled pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in February, he supported calls for Kharkiv to become independent from Kiev's new, pro-European leaders.
— with Reuters
First published April 28 2014, 11:18 AM
In a career spanning 40 years, Jim Maceda has covered more than 100 countries and many conflicts, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, as well as cultural and human interest stories. He has interviewed dozens of world leaders. Over the years, Maceda has reported from the front lines of Rhodesia, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Chechnya, as well as on the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, including NATO airstrikes in Serbia and Kosovo. He is the veteran of scores of embeds in Afghanistan and Iraq, doing stories on the U.S. Army, Marines and Special Forces as well as insurgents and civilians torn apart by war. Since 1999, Maceda has been based in London.
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Maceda was named NBC News' Germany correspondent in 1994, based in Frankfurt, from where he covered Eastern Europe, the Bosnian civil war and peacekeeping missions in the former Yugoslavia and Haiti. In addition, he covered major breaking news in Iran, Russia, China and the Middle East.
In 1990 Maceda became the NBC News Moscow correspondent, covering an array of stories from the Soviet Union and Russia, including the attempted coup on then-President Mikhail G. Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union. In February 1992 Maceda became the first foreign TV correspondent to gain access to a secret nuclear city in Siberia, named K-26, which housed the biggest plutonium weapons factory in the former Soviet Union. Maceda also covered the civil war and the failed U.S. peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
Maceda was based in Manila from 1988 to 1990 as an NBC News Asia reporter and producer. He covered a wide range of datelines, including the Cambodian War, the Burma Revolt, the Drug War in Colombia and the Panama Invasion. In 1989 he won an Emmy for his reporting on the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing.
From 1984 to 1988, Maceda was a senior news producer in London. During that time, he was part of the first U.S. television team to cover the devastating famine in Ethiopia. In 1988 he won an Emmy for his coverage of the Palestinian Intifada, or Uprising, the same year he made his switch to on-air reporting. He also served as the acting bureau chief for NBC News in Manila in 1986, during the People Power Revolt and fall of Ferdinand Marcos.
Maceda was the deputy bureau chief and producer for NBC News in Tel Aviv from 1981 to 1983 where he covered major events including Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, its handing over of the Sinai to Egypt and the 1982 Lebanon War. While in Beirut, he produced the heralded 17-part "Lebanon Diary" series.
Maceda got his start in journalism as an associate producer for CBS News in Paris, from 1973 to 1976. As a freelance reporter and producer for French TV from 1976 to 1980, he was the first to secure a joint interview for a European TV network with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat after the Camp David Accords. In 1980 he joined NBC News' Paris Bureau as an associate producer and researcher.
Maceda has won numerous awards and citations, including an Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 7/7 London terror bombings, seven Emmy nominations, four Overseas Press Club awards, and three National Headliner awards. In 1991 he received the Olive Branch Award from Columbia University for his stories on Russian nuclear proliferation. Maceda has had the distinction of reporting exclusively for two, long-running news series on "Nightly News with Brian Williams": "Putinâ€™s Russia" (2007-2008) and "Far From Home" (in Afghanistan, 2010-12).
Maceda graduated from Stanford University in 1970 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. He then pursued post-graduate studies at the Paris Sorbonne. He is married to Cindy Lilles, has a grown daughter from a previous marriage, and is the doting grandpa of three young girls.