Geneva deal is greeted with scepticism, defiance and a touch of hope

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Geneva deal is greeted with scepticism, defiance and a touch of hope

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The announcements from Geneva quickly trickled down to those manning barricades in front of city halls and other government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

In Donetsk, some pro-Russian activists remained defiant while others were sceptical.

“If everybody will disarm, then yes, if they will withdraw the army from here, then yes. I have nothing against it (the Geneva agreement). That’s very good, but the question is: will they pull out? Because we don’t have much faith in the statements of the government,” said one pro-Russian supporter.

However another who was more strident said:
“We are not going to disarm and leave the building, it’s not about us, that’s nonsense. As long as we don’t have a referendum nobody will leave from anywhere.”

Reflecting the complexity of the situation, a rally was earlier held in the heart of rebellious Donetsk but this time by supporters of a united Ukraine.

Dmitry Durniev is an activist and journalist:

“We are living under threat, but we are not afraid, we are tired of being afraid. You see, when you are told every day that you are gonna be killed, when one is constantly under pressure, that pressure blows up. Look at these people, everyone was afraid to come here, but they came here anyway. This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Another attending the rally had come from Kyiv:

“I came here to support my friends, I came to support the unity of Ukraine. And, well, to feel the thrill, because it is not dangerous in Kiev anymore and it is bloody dangerous over here.”

According to euronews correspondent Sergio Cantone, the rally was an attempt by those wishing to keep the country united to challenge the tense situation that is haunting the city and the wider region:

“The pro Ukraine demo in Donetsk marks a clear political choice on the part of the city, especially after what happened over the last few days. According to some locals today could be a turning point in the situation for pro-Kyiv supporters here,” he said.