15:24 GMT +318 January 2020
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    Hundreds of people gathered outside the parliamentary headquarters in Kiev Wednesday demanding more self-rule and better social benefits for the country’s southern city of Zaporizhya, local media reported.

    Earlier, the Zaporizhya city council approved a draft law to give the steelmakers’ city a special status by granting broader powers to the local councils and improving the socio-economic and environmental situation in and around the city.

    The activists also want the city to keep part of its federal taxes to spend on education and health care.

    The organizers of Tuesday’s protest said that despite the social benefits the proposed draft held out for the region, some oligarchic groups were trying to discredit the whole idea fearing that they would otherwise have to raise the wages they pay to the workers at their local steel mills.

    “We believe that without a social legal status the Zaporizhya region will find itself hostage to oligarchic score-settling and plunder,” 112.UA news agency quoted one of the protesters as saying.

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    oligarchs, social benefits, taxes, special status, rally, Ukraine
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