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Swiss activists urge peaceful settlement of Ukrainian conflict

March 01, 2015, 7:17 UTC+3 GENEVA
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GENEVA, March 1. /TASS/. Activists in three Swiss cities - Zurich, Bellinzona and Montreux - took to the streets on Saturday in support of the peaceful settlement of the months-long conflict in eastern Ukraine.

This is the first time since the start of the Ukrainian crisis when Swiss activists, representing various groups and organisations, who are strongly opposed to war, have decided to hold rallies simultaneously.

The goal of the events is to tell the truth about the conflict in Donbass and attract attention of the public to the severe humanitarian situation in the war-torn region. All the demonstrations were sanctioned by the authorities and held peacefully.

In Zurich, protesters chanted: "Stop War in Donbass!", "No to NATO's Eastward Expansion" and "No to Arms Supplies to Ukraine!" The demonstration was attended by citizens of Switzerland and Germany.

In Bellinzona, the protest against the war in Ukraine was held for the first time. The event involved residents of Donbass origin and also Russian and Swiss nationals.

Yana, the protest organizer, told TASS the activists had the goal of "breaking the information blockade and telling the truth about the events in Donbass that the aggressor is Ukraine, not Russia."

The posters read "Save Donbass Children from Ukrainian Army!", "Save Donbass from Humanitarian Catastrophe!" she said. The protesters waved flags of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics, Switzerland and Russia.

The organizers said the local citizens showed great interest to the demonstrations. The next anti-war event dedicated to the Donbass crisis is planned on March 14 in the capital Bern.

Combat actions between the Ukrainian military and militias of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics during Kiev’s military operation in the country’s east conducted since mid-April 2014 have claimed over 5,800 lives and nearly 1.2 million people had to flee their homes seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, mostly in Russia, according to the UN data.

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