Thousands of people waving Russian flags flooded the streets of eastern Ukraine on Sunday. Demonstrators in the cities of Donetsk, Lugansk, and Kharkov seized state offices, while in Donetsk they also demanded an independence referendum.
Over 2,000 people gathered in Lenin Square in the center of Donetsk to petition for the Berkut officers, who – they believe – are falsely accused of using fire arms against the rioters during the Maidan standoff.
The participants in the event called on the “illegal junta in Kiev” to end political repressions and persecution of dissidents, the Itar-Tass news agency reports.
They demanded their right for self-determination to be respected, pushing for a Crimea-style referendum on independence from Ukraine.
The protesters carried Russian national flags, chanted “Russia! Russia!” and displayed banners urging the new Donetsk Region governor, Sergey Taruta, who was recently appointed by Kiev, “to get out.”
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