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Hundreds attend first large peace protest in eastern Ukraine

A spontaneous peace protest began in the center of Donetsk, where about 500 people have gathered. Pavel Kalygin from Novaya Gazeta reports that the crowd is standing in front of the regional administration building and has blocked the main street of the city to protest the war.

Protesters are demanding an end to fighting and a restoration of damaged homes. They are blaming the separatists for provoking the Ukrainian armed forces to shoot at unarmed civilians.

Novaya Gazeta claims this is the first large peace protest since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began.

Residents of the village Oktyabrskiy #Donetsk have blocked Artyom Street across from the Regional Administration (the government building of Donetsk People’s Republic)
Photo: Twitter, Andrey Borodulin

There is a spontaneous gathering right now of residents of Oktyabrskiy village, where fighting is taking place in the north #Donetsk
Photo: Twitter, Andrey Borodulin

There is no evident reaction on the part of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic leadership to the protest. Donetsk People’s Republic policemen and operatives are here, and they are checking the documents of those who have gathered, including journalists. They look pretty lost.

Novaya Gazeta

A ceasefire is in place in the east of Ukraine since February, in accordance with the Minsk Peace Agreement. Nonetheless, the separatists and the Ukrainian armed forces regularly accuse each other of armed attacks.