Three people were reportedly killed and dozens were injured during violent clashes in Donetsk on Thursday.
A 22-year-old resident of the eastern Ukrainian city — where divisions between those supporting the post-maidan government in Kiev and those calling for Russian intervention have escalated in recent weeks — was killed as opposing groups of protesters met in the city’s Lenin square, local authorities said.
Unconfirmed reports say the man was stabbed and died on his way to the hospital. There were further reports that two more activists had also died.
Thousands of pro-unity, anti-war demonstrators had gathered in the city’s center, where they were met by smaller groups of pro-Russia demonstrators, who attacked them with bricks and fireworks.
The videos below, uploaded to YouTube, show the protests, before the violence broke out.
Pro-Russian groups burned the Ukrainian flag and chanting “Russia.”
Protesters set off fireworks and rattled buses in Donetsk on Thursday.
Some buses were damaged during clashes in Donetsk on Thursday.
The opposing camps had been taking to the streets for days and had clashed before.
Protesters calling for Donetsk to join Russia were outnumbered by those calling for Ukrainian unity. The prospect of Russian troops entering the city, or of pro-Russian supporters resorting to violence, has driven hundreds of the city's residents to the streets to call for peace.
“In Donetsk people are afraid of Russian aggression,” Donetsk journalist Oleksiy Matsuka told VICE News earlier this month.
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