Ukrainians, Russians put conflict at center of May Day
Thursday, May 01, 2014 - 01:36
May 1 - May Day marches in Kiev and Moscow focus on the bitter conflict between the two governments. Nathan Frandino reports.
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As May Day kicks off in Ukraine, thousands march through Kiev.
With flags, banners and song... they're calling for unity.
The country has been embroiled in a bitter conflict with neighboring Russia.
People in Kiev blame Moscow for trying to divide the country.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VALENTYN SMIKHUN, KIEV RESIDENT, SAYING:
"Yes, I think interference from outside is unacceptable. Let the Russians deal with Dagestan and separatists as they call themselves and not interfere with our country. We will deal on our own. Our country is brilliant and we must be united."
In Russia, May Day rallies also focused on Ukraine.
Thousands marched through Moscow under the Soviet flag as well as banners representing the "Just Russia" party.
At a nearby square, one party leader pledged support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) 'JUST RUSSIA' PARTY LEADER SERGEI MIRONOV ON STAGE, SAYING:
"We express solidarity with our brothers in southern and eastern Ukraine, with those who don't want to live on order of Kiev pseudo authorities, who don't want to live according to a scenario written overseas. We are together with those who want to speak the native Russian language, with those who want choose their destiny by themselves."
Russia has denied having any part of Ukraine's unrest in the east.
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