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Rally in support of Russians in Ukraine held in southern Rostov region

March 03, 2014, 18:32 UTC+3 ROSTOV ON DON

Demonstrators were holding Russian tricolor flags, St. George ribbons and posters

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ROSTOV ON DON, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Novocherkassk, the capital of the Don Cossacks, was the first city in the southern Rostov region to have staged a rally on Monday, March 3, in support of ethnic Russians living in neighboring Ukraine.

The mayor office’s said about 5,000 people had attended the rally: intellectuals, members of political parties and public organizations, workers, war veterans, and athletes.

“By holding this rally we want to say that we support and will support Russia’s foreign policy aimed at protecting the Russian-speaking population (in Ukraine),” kickboxing world champion Anatoly Nozyrev said at the rally. He voiced concern about the latest developments in Ukraine and stressed that Kiev’s actions “do not look like democratic reforms.”

Prior to the rally, believers prayed at Novocherkassk’s Ascension Cathedral for those killed during the coup in Ukraine and for the speediest restoration of peace in the neighboring country.

Demonstrators were holding Russian tricolor flags, St. George ribbons and posters reading “Peace to Ukraine,” “No to extremism,” “Russia and Ukraine: the same roots, the same faith,” and “For peace in brotherly Ukraine.”

Patriotic songs were performed by Rostov’s song and dance ensemble. Novocherkassk and Ukraine’s Sevastopol are twin cities. Young men from the Rostov region serve aboard the Russian combat ship Novocherkassk within the Black Sea Fleet that is stationed in Sevastopol under the agreement between the two countries.

A similar rally will be held in Rostov on Tuesday, March 4.

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