Around 200 people gathered for a rally outside parliament in Kyiv on Feb. 21 in protest against the continuation of trade with parts of Ukraine where Russian-backed forces have seized control from the local authorities.
The rally was also in support of an ongoing informal blockade of the occupied territories being carried out by veterans of Russia’s war on Ukraine in the Donbas. The blockade has halted supplies of anthracite coal from the Donbas to the rest of Ukraine, and the government has warned that Ukraine could face power shortages in just over a month if regular supplies are not resumed.
The government declared a state of emergency in the energy sector on Feb. 15.
The rally was organized by the Ukrop party, which is in opposition to the government, and has been linked to the billionaire oligarch Igor Kolomoisky.