DONETSK, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. At least 10,000 have gathered in Donetsk in east Ukraine to protest against Kiev’s military operation in the region, the press office of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic said on Wednesday.
The protesters started to gather near the Eternal Flame at 10 hours in the morning, after which they marched to Lenin Square along the Leninsky avenue.
Miners from Donetsk, Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo, Snezhnoye and Torez coalmines are taking part in the action. The demonstrators changed “No War!”
A live video broadcast shows the Lenin Square crowded with people. Most people are not holding any flags or posters.
Clashes have been underway between the Ukrainian military and militias in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
A Kiev-led punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's east that involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation has already claimed hundreds of lives, including civilian, and left some buildings destroyed and damaged.
The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. Their independence has not been officially recognized.