- Title: RUSSIA: Russian Cossacks says Crimea will be welcome to join Russia
- Date: 3rd March 2014
- Summary: NOVOCHERKASSK, RUSSIA (MARCH 3, 2014) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN WITH RUSSIAN FLAGS PEOPLE WITH BANNERS READING "OUR CHOICE IS PEACEFUL FUTURE" AND "YES TO RUSSIAN-UKRAINIAN FRIENDSHIP", BILLBOARD IN FRONT READING "YOUR ADVERTISEMENT COULD BE HERE" RALLY PARTICIPANTS WITH RUSSIAN FLAGS VARIOUS OF COSSACKS ARRIVING AT RALLY PAN OF RALLY VARIOUS OF COSSACKS AT RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) COSSACK, GENNADY CHERNENKO, SAYING: "We are here to support our brothers, cossacks, Ukrainians and Russians who are left on the other side of the border. Crimea and eastern Ukraine were all before a part of our cossack territory. If they want to join us we will support and help them." COSSACK ADDRESSING RALLY PEOPLE AT RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) COSSACK, VALENTIN GLAZATOV, SAYING: "Our brotherly people are there, our brothers, Russians, Russian-speaking population, something like three million people. We need to support and defend them. I believe the president has made the absolutely right decision." RALLY PARTICIPANTS
- Embargoed: 18th March 2014 12:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Conflict,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAF2GN0BCRQS5ZY3XFOH7F02IPX
- Story Text: Russian Cossacks rallied in the city of Novocherkassk close to the Ukrainian border on Monday (March 3) to show support to the Russian-speaking population of Ukraine and express readiness to help them if Crimea decides to join Russia.
The historical cossack capital of Novocherkassk, which neighbours Ukraine, gathered about 5,000 protesters in the streets in a demonstration that followed Moscow's 30,000-person march in support of the Russian-speaking population in Crimea on Sunday (March 2).
They spoke against the destabilisation of the situation in Ukraine, waived Russian flags and performed traditional cossack dances.
Cossacks, once the patrolmen of Russia's borderlands, consider Crimea a traditional cossak land, the protesters said.
"We are here to support our brothers, Cossacks, Ukrainians and Russians who are left on the other side of the border. Crimea and eastern Ukraine were all before a part of our cossack territory. If they want to join us we will support and help them," said protester Gennady Chernenko.
After Russian President Vladimir Putin got the go-ahead from his parliament to use armed forces in Crimea until the socio-political situation stabilises there, Russian forces took control of the isolated Black Sea peninsula, and Moscow has threatened to invade Ukraine to protect Russian speakers from what it says is a nationalist new government in Kiev.
Another protester, Valentin Glazatov, said Putin did the right thing.
"Our brotherly people are there, our brothers, Russians, Russian-speaking population, something like three million people. We need to support and defend them. I believe the president has made the absolutely right decision," Glazatov said.
Other rally participants held banners saying "No to War" and proposing peaceful annexation of Crimea to Russia. Some think if the agriculturally fertile peninsula, which offers Russia a much-desired sea access doesn't go to Russia, the U.S. will take over it, and no party would win.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None