Kharkiv unity rally cancelled as fears rise of separatist provocation
Luhansk centre after separatist rally on March 22
In Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv pro-Russian, separatist and also pro-Yanukovych rallies took place on Saturday, and there are fears that Sunday’s rallies could lead to violence.
Kharkiv EuroMaidan announced on Saturday evening that it would not be holding the planned viche or people’s gathering on Sunday March 23. In an address to the Prosecutor General, head of the Security Service and others it explains that the rally has been cancelled due to information received about the plans of "aggressive separatists, bandits and hooligans" to carry out a number of provocative acts near the monument to Taras Shevchenko. Since they believe these to be aimed at causing mass disturbances and bloodshed, they are cancelling the event, and are also planning no peaceful gatherings on March 24 "so that police, SBU and Prosecutor General’s Office bodies have the opportunity to carry out their duties to restore order and peace in Kharkiv.
They will, however, hold a viche on March 25 at 18.00 near the Shevchenko monument and want the above-mentioned bodies, as well as the Kharkiv city council to report on measures taken to restore peace in the city.
Meetings were also held in Donetsk and Luhansk on Saturday, and violence is feared on Sunday when protesters from both sides are planning rallies.