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NIZHNIY NOVGOROD, March 06 /ITAR-TASS/. About 10 thousand people rallied in support of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population and against fascism on Friday. The action took place in Nizhniy Novgorod, a city located at the confluence of two big rivers the Oka and the Volga in Russia’s Volga Federal District.
Representatives of various political parties, all religious confessions and public organizations as well as veterans of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 gathered on the Square of People’s Unity where Kuzma Minin and Prince Dmitry Pozharsky gathered a volunteer army to fight Polish invaders during the Times of Trouble 400 years ago.
“The question that we are raising here unites all political parties and is beyond any political differences,” Artyom Kavinov, secretary of the United Russia party regional branch, said. He called on the people of Nizhniy Novgorod to support the Ukrainian people and the Russian -speaking population in Ukraine by word and deeds.
“The aim of this meeting and other rallies that have been held across Russia is to show that most Russians are supporting the stance of the country’s leaders. We cannot abandon Ukrainians who are asking Russia for help,” Kavinov said.
Addressing the meeting, a woman refugee from Ukraine said she had been forced to leave Ukraine where she was born because she spoke Russian.
“The people who have seized power in Ukraine are passing laws to ban the use of the Russian language in the first place. They are forbidding us to give Russian names to our children and are trying to turn the Russian-speaking population into second-rate citizens,” Lyudmila Marchenko, who was born in the Donetsk region, said. She thanked all Russians and Russian regions for readiness to provide refugees from Ukraine with material aid and housing. She also urged them not to leave the Ukrainian people in trouble.
The participants in the rally unanimously adopted a resolution in which they set forth their view on how to restore a normal life in Ukraine and elect a government of people’s unity. The document also says that the Nizhniy Novgorod region is ready to provide refugees from Ukraine with jobs and housing.
Besides, local ministers have transferred their one-day earnings and 10 million roubles from the budget of the Nizhniy Novgorod region to a support fund set up to help the population in Crimea.
A campaign to raise funds in favor of Ukraine’s Russian-speaking population is under way in the region.
In the meantime, a concert to support Crimea and its people will take place in central Moscow on March 7.
The “We Are Together!” action will start at Vasilyevsky Spusk (slope) on Red Square at 17:00 Moscow time, its organizers say on their page in “VKontakte” social network at https://m.vk.com/wall-47178794_1273.
The first mass rallies to support Ukraine and Russian-speaking compatriots residing in that country started in Russia last Sunday, March 2. They were organized by patriotic youth and veteran organizations and assembled tens of thousands people in Moscow, St. Petersburg and the city of Krasnodar in southern Russia.
Support rallies continued across Russia on March 3-4. Actions were held in several major cities, including those bordering on Ukraine, such as Belgorod, Bryansk, Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don, etc.