12 April 2014, 13:02

Pro-Russian rallies continue unabated in Kharkov

Pro-Russian rallies continue unabated in Kharkov

Pro-Russian rallies are continuing in the southeast of Ukraine. Activists today are going to take to the streets of Kharkov under Russian flags despite the earlier ban by the Kiev authorities. Ukraine's Interior Ministry warned it would use force to quell mass riots.

The popular movements that will take part in today's pro-Russian protests in Kharkov point out that they will hold rallies irrespective of court rulings, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily reports. Pro-Russian rallies in the southeast of Ukraine have continued unabated for several days now.

Protesters in Donetsk, Kharkov and Lugansk question the legitimacy of their respective governors, appointed after the removal of President Victor Yanukovych from power, and press for more rights for the regions, as well as for holding a referendum on their regions' status.

On April 7th, protesters in Donetsk seized the regional administration building and formed the Donetsk Republican People's Council, which proclaimed state independence of the Donetsk People's Republic.

Events followed a similar scenario in Kharkov. A group of public figures held a meeting in the hall of the regional administration building and read out a list of those who had agreed to assume the duties of regional council deputies. A decision was made to set up an independent country to be called the Kharkov People's Republic. The decision will come into effect when approved by a regional referendum.

On February 22nd, Ukraine saw a regime change with signs of a state coup. The Supreme Rada replaced Yanukovych with Alexander Turchinov, changed the constitution and set the next presidential election date for May 25th . Moscow feels the legitimacy of the Ukrainian Parliament's decisions is questionable.

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