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Ukraine: Thousands march against threat of fascism

Protesters rally around Lenin statues toppled by neonazis

Thousands of people across the Ukraine took to the streets over the weekend to take a firm stand against fascism.

Ukrainians across the east and west of the country made it clear they wanted nothing to do with the coup government that has seized power in Kiev.

In the south-eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk several thousand people gathered near the city hall waving the flags of Soviet Ukraine and the Russian tricolour.

They then marched to Lenin Square chanting: “Fascism will not pass,” and “We will not live under Bandera,” a reference to nationalist leader Stepan Bandera who enthusiastically collaborated with the nazis during World War II.

Protesters also swarmed on the site of a Lenin statue recently ripped down by neonazis, clearing it of fascist propaganda.

In the southern city of Kherson protesters from a range of political parties and civic organisations also made a toppled statue of the Russian revolutionary their rallying point.

Locals have formed self-defence militia to protect themselves from the armed far-right groups that have seized power in Kiev.

Protesters chanted: “East and west — together” in a clear call to reject the separation of the Ukraine.

In Kharkov, former Communist Party mayoral candidate Alla Alexander slammed the Kiev coup government for “continuing their flagrant violation of the laws of Ukraine.”

She pointed out that armed groups were still operating illegally in western Ukraine.

Ms Alexander called on “radical forces” to stop blocking Russian speakers using their own language.

“We must make these demands not only heard, but also fulfilled. We will achieve this,” she proclaimed.

“Justice is on our side and victory will be ours too.”

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