Russia supporters demand reunification as conflict escalates
Saturday, March 01, 2014 - 01:17
March 1 - Thousands gather in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to rally behind Russia in its escalating conflict with the new Ukrainian government. Nathan Frandino reports.
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"Those who fight Russia fight God."
This is one message from thousands of people gathered at a pro-Russia rally in Ukraine.
The protesters in the eastern city of Kharkiv are denouncing the new Kiev authorities and calling for reunification with Russia.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ELENA BOROVAYA, SAYING:
"Our territory should become part of what used to be the Soviet Union. That is what we demand and that's why we are here."
The two countries are on a collision path after President Viktor Yanukovich - a Russia ally - was impeached.
Ukraine has accused Russia of sending thousands of extra troops to Crimea.
Protesters say it's time for justice.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SERGEI BOROVOY, SAYING:
"In 1991 it was a bandit-like takeover of Ukraine and now we've come here for justice, so that Russia would be the legal successor to the Soviet Union. We want to be back in the Soviet Union. This is where we stand. We've been suffering for 23 years."
On Saturday, Russia's upper house of parliament authorized using military force in Crimea.
The upper house also asked President Vladimir Putin to recall the Russian Ambassador to the United States.
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