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Over 5,000 people gather for rally in Odessa to back referendum in Crimea

March 16, 2014, 19:50 UTC+3 ODESSA
Self-defence detachments and police ensure security of the rally
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During a pro-Russian demonstration in Odessa (archive)

During a pro-Russian demonstration in Odessa (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

ODESSA, March 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Over 5,000 people have gathered for a rally in Odessa to support the referendum in Crimea.

“Odessa residents back Crimeans who vote for their future. We’ve establish tents where we collect signatures to demand referendums be held to decentralise power in Ukraine, elect governors and give Russian the status of a second state language. Such rallies are being held in other south-eastern cities,” head of the coordinating council of public organisations, “People’s Alternative”, Anton Davidchenko told ralliers.

“Odessa comes against the coup d’etat in Kiev that had been paid by the West and the Ukrainian oligarchs. We don’t want to live in poverty and we don’t intend to be tolerant to oligarchs’ and officials’ arbitrariness,” head of the public organisation, “Soprotivlenie” (Resistance), Rostislav Barda said.

Self-defence detachments and police ensure security of the rally. “Law enforcers control the situation in Odessa,” new governor Vladimir Nemirovnsky said.

The governor urged residents “to stay at home and not yield to provocations”.

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