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Miners from Eastern Ukraine to take arms if Kiev fails to stop army operation

June 18, 2014, 21:19 UTC+3 DONETSK

The people of the DPR will fight. First of all the foreign enemy, and then oligarchs’ turn will come,” an official of the self-proclaimed republic says

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© ITAR-TASS/Konstantin Sazonchik

DONETSK, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Miners from the Donetsk Region in eastern Ukraine will take arms if the Kiev authorities do not stop their military operation in the region within two days, a deputy coal industry minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Konstantin Kuznetsov, said Wednesday.

“Miners have given (the Kiev authorities) two days to stop the so-called antiterrorism operation. Unless that happens, they are taking up arms and are going to defend their land, wives and children,” Kuznetsov said.

Commenting on the situation in the Donetsk Region, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Borodai told ITAR-TASS that “it is now absolutely clear to each DPR resident that the Nazi junta is carrying out genocide of the population under the guise of an antiterrorism operation.”

Borodai said this is a patriotic war for the region’s residents. “The people of the DPR will fight. First of all the foreign enemy, and then oligarchs’ turn will come,” he said.

A rally against combat operations conducted by the Ukrainian military and law enforcers subordinate to Kiev took place in the city of Donetsk on Wednesday. The event gathered miners from coal mining enterprises of Donetsk, Gorlovka, Yenakiyevo, Snezhnoye and Torez. The rally reportedly numbered 5,000-10,000.

The Ukrainian military and militias have been engaged in fierce clashes with each other in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which refused to recognize the authorities who had been propelled to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

A Kiev-led punitive operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine's East that Kiev calls an antiterrorism operation involves armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation. It has already claimed hundreds of lives, including civilian, and left some buildings destroyed and damaged.

The Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which border on Russia, held referendums on May 11, in which most voters supported independence from Ukraine. Their independence has not been officially recognized.

Russia has repeatedly called on Kiev to end the punitive operation and engage in dialogue with Ukraine’s Southeast. The operation, however, continues under newly elected President Petro Poroshenko, who won the May 25 early presidential elections and took office on June 7.

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