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Preparing for Easter in Ukrainian hotspot

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 01:32

April 19 - Christians in Slaviansk prepare to celebrate Easter while separatists man barricades and occupy buildings in defiance of an international deal ordering them to disarm. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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An Easter truce in Ukraine. It's a moment of relief as Christians in Slaviansk face the worst crisis the small town has known. Slaviansk has become a flashpoint in the crisis that hit Ukraine after men with Kalashnikovs took control of the city last weekend. Now Orthodox Christian believers seek blessings for themselves and the holiday food ahead of easter Sunday. Separatists are still holding on to public buildings in the city despite an international deal ordering them to disarm. Separatists from other regions offer support. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SAVEL, PROTESTER, SAYING: "We have arrived from Donetsk in about 15 cars. We came to support the guys who are on barricades at the moment, who are under pressure from junta, the troops,- the mercenaries who came here to cause disorder. We came to offer our support to strengthen people's spirit. Guys, Donetsk is with you! And we are with Donetsk!" The Geneva agreement, signed by the US, Russia, Ukraine and the EU on Thursday requires all illegal armed groups to disarm and end the illegal occupation of public buildings, streets and squares. Ukraine's government says it will not attack pro-Russian separatists over the Easter weekend.

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Preparing for Easter in Ukrainian hotspot

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 01:32