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Ukraine: Donetsk divided as pro-Russia activists push for referendum


Ukraine: Donetsk divided as pro-Russia activists push for referendum

In the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, pro-Moscow activists have been holding daily rallies in Lenin Square.

Some the demonstrators have been signing a petition to push for a referendum to determine their future. The future they would like would see their city and their region leave Ukraine and become part of Russia.

Volunteer Alexei Shekolkin told reporters: “The more signatures, the better. If there are lots of them, it would be great!”

Across town, a rival demonstration was held in a shopping centre. A small flashmob made up of residents who want to remain part of Ukraine and support the new pro-Europe government in Kyiv.

Vidadi Asterov explained why he was taking part: “We’re a united people. We will defend, withstand. Our only road is Europe, only Europe will save us. And we’ll save ourselves. We don’t want anyone to touch us.”

Donetsk’s new governor Serhiy Taruta has appealed to Western powers for financial assistance for the region. He has also blamed recent violence in the city on paid agents of the Kremlin.

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