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Eastern Ukraine: Two Deaths Reported in Donetsk Clashes

By Ukrainska Pravda

Rival rallies involving supporters of a united Ukraine and pro-Russia activists took place in Donetsk on the evening of March 13.

Police set up a cordon between the two rallies, each of which had 1,000 participants, Novosti Donbassa reported.

Participants in the pro-Ukraine meeting announced they were setting up a self-defence group to assist the police. They made speeches against war and for a united Ukraine, sang the national anthem, and chanted "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Glory to the Heroes!" Those at the pro-Russia rally chanted "Russia" and "Out", listened to Soviet songs, and threw eggs and water balloons at their opponents. Tear gas and firecrackers were also used.

Police tried to detain several pro-Russia activists, but let them go again as the crowd pressed in. An ambulance arrived on the scene.

As of 19:37 people were not dispersing, although the rally was over. Police tried to cover the withdrawal of pro-Ukrainian demonstrators, and the pro-Russian activists began acting more aggressively, provoking fights and shouting "On your knees."

There were already casualties at this point.

At 20:44, police were helping pro-Ukrainian demonstrators to get away, assisted by members of the self-defence group.

Pro-Russian demonstrators surrounded a police bus, in which there were also members of the self-defence group. They smashed its windows and threw in gas and firecrackers.

Novosti Donbassa reported that three people were taken to a hospital neurosurgery department after the clashes.

At 21:41, it was reported that one person had died from a knife wound during the clashes. The 22-year-old male died in the ambulance. Seventeen people sought first aid on the scene, and 11 were in the neurosurgery department, Novosti Donbassa reported.

At 22:20, news emerged that two people had died during the clashes. 

This article republished from Ukrainska Pravda with kind permission.

Original article in Ukrainian

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