- Title: UKRAINE: Pro-Russian rally held in Slaviansk
- Date: 18th April 2014
- Summary: SLAVIANSK, UKRAINE (APRIL 18, 2014) (REUTERS) TWO UKRAINIAN JETS FLYING ABOVE CITY PEOPLE GATHERED AT RALLY NEXT TO CITY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING SEPARATIST LEADER ADDRESSING RALLY, ARMED MEN WEARING MASKS STANDING NEXT TO HIM PEOPLE CLAPPING, CHANTING "RUSSIA" ARMED MEN WAVING TO CROWD SEPARATISTS HOLDING FLAG OF SELF-PROCLAIMED "DONETSK PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC" RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, STANISLAV, SAYING: "We want peace and calm in our Donbass (Donetsk region) and we don't want the current illegitimate authorities in Kiev to come here." STATUE OF LENIN (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT, OKSANA, SAYING: "Above all, we want the situation to be resolved peacefully, only peacefully. And of course we want freedom, we want to work, live, have fun." WOMAN WITH CHILD IN SQUARE FEEDING PIGEONS
- Embargoed: 3rd May 2014 13:00
- Location: Ukraine
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Conflict,International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6LIP37O20H182BH5I07W8XJBR
- Story Text: Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine held a rally in Slaviansk on Friday (April 18) attended by several hundred people.
Slaviansk has become a flashpoint in the crisis after men with Kalashnikovs (automatic rifles) took control last weekend.
Protest leader Vyacheslav Ponomarev pledged the separatists' defiance of Kiev authorities.
Separatists in Donetsk earlier said they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and would not move out of public buildings they have seized until the Kiev government stepped down.
The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday, seemed to be the best hope of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War.
The Geneva agreement requires all illegal armed groups to disarm and end occupations of public buildings, streets and squares, but with the separatists staying put in the east and Ukrainian nationalist protesters showing no sign of leaving their - unarmed - camps in the capital's Maidan Square, it was not clear that either side would be willing to move first.
At a rally in Slaviansk, residents said they want a peaceful solution of the crisis but insisted that Kiev authorities should stay out of the region.
"We want peace and calm in our Donbass (Donetsk region) and we don't want the current illegitimate authorities in Kiev to come here," said Stanislav.
"Above all, we want the situation to be resolved peacefully, only peacefully. And of course we want freedom, we want to work, live, have fun," said Oksana.
Pro-Russian militants control buildings in about 10 towns in eastern Ukraine after launching their operation on April 6.
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