Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Federalists Rally by Administration Building in Ukraine’s Donetsk

RIA Novosti

16:56 21/04/2014

DONETSK, April 21 (RIA Novosti) – Hundreds of pro-federalization activists were rallying Monday outside the regional administration building in Donetsk, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

According to the correspondent, demonstrators were hanging on every word of the event’s coordinators, who were detailing preparations for the much-anticipated referendum that may give the region of Donetsk and other rebellious south-eastern territories more autonomy.

Everyone was allowed to address the crowd from the make-shift podium. Russian patriotic songs could be heard in between political speeches, the correspondent said.

Eastern Ukraine has been swept by rallies since last month. Federalization supporters in Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Gorlovka, Slaviansk and Kramatorsk have refused to recognize the legitimacy of the current Ukrainian government and are urging interim authorities to hold referendums similar to the one held in Crimea last month, which led to the republic’s reunification with Russia.

In response, Ukrainian authorities started a special operation to crack down on pro-federalization activists in eastern regions of the country, a move that Moscow strongly condemned.

Ukraine underwent a regime change resembling a military coup on February 22. The country’s parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, changed the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25. Moscow has repeatedly questioned the actions.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list