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Rallies in support of Donbass’ civilian population held in Prague and Italian cities

March 05, 2017, 23:34 UTC+3 PRAGUE

Speakers at the rally placed responsibility for the escalation in Donbass on the Ukrainian authorities

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PRAGUE,ROME March 5. /TASS/. A rally in support of civilian population in Donbass suffering from the armed conflict was held in central Prague near the residence of the Czech president on Sunday.

Participants in the rally organized by the civil initiative Czech-Slovak Sejm called on the country’s authorities and the leaders of the European Union to extend effective support to people living in Donbass.

"We call on the Czech leaders, the European Union and the world community to react to the economic blockade of Donbass and press Kiev to stop aggressive actions of the Ukrainian army which cause sufferings to civilians in Donbass. The region is on the verge of a social disaster," Alexander Naumov, a spokesman for the rally organizers, told TASS.

Speakers at the rally placed responsibility for the escalation in Donbass on the Ukrainian authorities. They noted that people in the European Union have less and less confidence in the sincerity of Kiev’s plans. The participants called on the European countries to use all the instruments they have to push the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop bloodshed in Donbass and implement their liabilities under the Minsk agreements.

The rally was held under the slogan Let Us Protect People in Donbass. Organizers said it brought together "at least 50 civil activists who joined by people" who happened to be nearby.

Rallies in Italian cities

Rallies of the international campaign Stop Genocide of Donbass Population coordinated by the organization of the same name with support from the International Anti-fascist Union were held on Sunday in a number of Italian cities, including Rome and Venice.

Irina Vikhoreva, the president of the Nadezhda (Hope) association, told TASS that several dozens of activists gathered in central Rome, near the famous Bocca della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth. "There were many Italians among them. We managed to draw attention of many passersby, including tourists from many countries," she said.

A similar rally supported by a number of Italian regional public organizations was held in Venice, in front of the Santa Lucia railway terminal. Along with Venetians, it was attended by people living in other cities of northern Italy, including Padua and Verona.

The organizers drafted a petition demanding developments in eastern Ukraine after February 2014 be recognized as genocide; President Pyotr Poroshenko and a number of other top officials be recognized guilty of staging a state coup in Ukraine, of establishing, arming and financing the Azov, Aidar, Kiev and Tornado paramilitary battalions that are recognized as terrorist groups, and of genocide of Donbass’ Russian-speaking population; preparations be started for an international tribunal against Ukraine’s top officials, including the president and members of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on charges of massacring Ukrainian citizens; the Ukrainian mass media be recognized as criminal units providing informational backing for the state coup and genocide.

The document will be referred to the administration of Italian President Sergio Mattarella and to international organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations, Vikhoreva said.

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