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Azov Battalion protests against Donbas elections

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Azov Battalion members and other right-wing activists gather near the WW2 museum in Kyiv before their rally on May 20.

Members and supporters of volunteer battalion Azov held a protest in Kyiv on May 20 against the elections in the occupied territories in eastern Ukraine.

Some 2,000 people marched from the Motherland monument to the Verkhovna Rada building shouting: “Demand of nation – no capitulation.”

Next to the parliament, the protesters lit torches and used smoke bombs. The Verkhovna Rada was in session during the protest, but only 274 out of 416 lawmakers were present.

No one was injured. The protest ended in about an hour.

The Minsk peace deal, signed in February 2015, envisaged that the parliament elections must take place in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts held by Russia-backed separatists.

The parliament elections took place in Ukraine in October 2014, but only the parts of Donbas controlled by Kyiv elected their representatives.

Now, many are concerned that the elections in the occupied territories can open the separatists the way into Ukrainian parliament.

On May 14, President Petro Poroshenko said that the elections in Donbas may take place in 2016.

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