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Rally in Kharkov demand eight Ukrainian southeastern regions be given status of autonomy

March 30, 2014, 17:30 UTC+3 KHARKOV

About 4,000 people gathered for a rally

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KHARKOV, March 30, /ITAR-TASS/. About 4,000 people gathered for a rally on Sunday in central Kharkov, Eastern Ukraine, to demand a southeastern autonomy of Ukraine’s eight regions be created.

Participants handed over a petition to the Russian consulate asking Russia to help ensure a fair referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and the autonomous status of its southeastern regions.

After that, the column went to the Polish consulate to demand that the West stop its interference into Ukraine’s domestic affairs.

“We all are descendants of the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog and Odessa republics. We have always been the real basis of our country,” said an appeal read out by Yuri Apukhtin, a leader of the Kharkov Civic Forum.

“We call on the forces of Ukraine’s southeastern regions to unite, to set up a coordination council and come out in a united front against putschists in Kiev. We see our place in this country (in Ukraine) as a historically formed southeastern autonomy.”

Apukhtin said that an agreement on joint actions had been reached with leaders of similar rallies in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Apart from that, participants in the rally urged to release from home arrest well-known public activist Ignat Kromskoi, who had been detained on charges of “organizing mass disorders” as he took part in an operation to expel radicals from the building of the regional administration in Kharkov at the very beginning of this month.

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