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KHARKOV, February 22, /ITAR-TASS/. - Situation in Kharkov, the industrial capital of northeast Ukraine, deteriorated sharply closer to night hours Saturday as thousands of supporters of Euro-Maidan and the opposition gathered around the building of the Palace of Sports in the downtown.
Young militants clad in military uniforms and helmets and armed with batons were shouting slogans against the participants in the Congress of Deputies of Local Councils of Ukraine’s South-East, which was held in Kharkov earlier in the day. They accused the delegates of treachery.
Several hundred servicemen of the Berkut riot police unit were on duty around the building
At the same time, dozens of sportive young people were arriving in groups to the city center.
Activists of the Oplot wrestling club, who are strongly opposed to the Euro-Maidan, started putting up barricades around the building. When an Itar-Tass reporter asked one of the young men about it, he said members of the club were getting ready for a possible attack by the radicals.
Yevgeny Zhilkin, the head of the Oplot public association took the floor the Congress of Deputies earlier, urging people to organize “voluntary guard teams” and to get armed.
Police patrols all around the city were reinforced and local residents aired their highly pessimistic anticipations.
“Everything here will be just like in Kiev very soon,” a taxi driver shared his impressions with Itar-Tass. “It looks like a war is coming up.