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Clashes Erupt, One Dead in Ukraine's Donetsk

World | March 14, 2014, Friday // 11:57| Views: 967 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Clashes Erupt, One Dead in Ukraine's Donetsk Photo by EPA/BGNES

At least one person died on Thursday during clashes between rival rallies in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.

The standoff began when members of an anti-war demonstration labelled "For a United Ukraine" ran into a group of pro-Russian activists at Lenin Square, website Interfax has reported. 

About 400 people took part in the clashes that followed after protesters from the "pro-Russian" side broke into the police cordon separating the two events. 

Pro-Russian protesters threw smoke bombs and fire crackers before the fight started, the BBC has informed.

The victim, a 22-year-old man, "died from a knife wound en route to hospital," according to the  Donetsk regional administration's website, without elaborating which rally he was part of.

Ukraine's online newspaper Donbass News puts the death toll at two, but this has not been confirmed by the authorities.

Regional healthcare department has also said 17 people have requested medical care. Local media reports, however, suggest that "many people" have been injured, without commenting any further.

Donetsk, located near the Ukrainian-Russian border, is known for its large share of ethnic Russians and also for a majority of staunch supporters of ousted President Vikror Yanukovych which does not deem legitimate the new leadership in Kiev.

In Ukrainian's capital meanwhile a court ordered that Kharkov's mayor Genadiy Kernes be placed under house arrest after firing against him a legal proceeding over allegedly making death threats and abductions. 

Earlier this week, Kharkiv region's governor, Mikhail Dobkin, was arrested over attempts to violate Ukraine's territorial integrity.

Alongside Crimea, the situation in Donetsk and Kharkiv is often being described as precarious due to secessionist movements more supportive of Moscow that of Kiev.

Part of the population in these regions has openly declared itself in favour of joining Russia, amid fears a Crimean secession which is yet to be confirmed by a referendum on March 16 will lead to other parts of Ukraine following the example

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Tags: Ukraine, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev
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