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Donetsk Republic forms division of miners

June 20, 2014, 16:18 UTC+3 (updates) < (updates)
Five hundred people are already enrolled in the ranks, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic notes
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Militia fighters in Donetsk (archive)

Militia fighters in Donetsk (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik

DONETSK, June 20./ITAR-TASS/.The Donetsk People's Republic has begun forming a division of miners, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed republic, Alexander Borodai, told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

"Formation of a division of miners, who have decided to defend their homes and families, has begun in Donetsk today. Five hundred people are already enrolled in the ranks," he said.

The strength of the Miners' Division is expected to reach 10,000, the government head added.

"It is really a patriotic war for us," Borodai noted.

About 10,000 people marched in an anti-war demonstration of coal mining workers in Donetsk on June 18. Deputy minister of coal mining industry of the Donetsk Republic Konstantin Kuznetsov told a meeting that Donbass miners would take up arms if Kiev authorities did not stop the military operation in the region in two days. "Miners give two days to stop the so-called anti-terrorist operation. If it does not happen, they will take up arms and will go to defend their land, wives and children," he said.

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