Friday, March 14, 2014

Tensions mounting in eastern Ukraine

The planned secession referendum in Crimea scheduled for Sunday is raising tensions in eastern Ukraine as well, where a large number of ethnic Russians live.

More than a thousand pro-Russian residents held a rally on Thursday in the eastern city of Donetsk.

They clashed with about the same number of supporters of the pro-EU interim government. Local authorities say the incident left 2 people dead and more than 50 injured.

Pro-Russian residents in other eastern cities, such as Kharkiv and Luhansk, will be joining Donetsk to stage major rallies this weekend, in support of the Crimean referendum.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said last Tuesday that his country reserves the right to use all options should the turmoil in Ukraine spread, including to its eastern region.