Ukrainian city residents hold rally protesting against Donbass blockade

More than 500 residents of Kramatorsk, a city in the Donetsk region, got together in city center on Monday to protest against the transport blockade of Donbass, launched by radical activists on January 25, Ukrainian 5TV reports on Monday, according to TASS.

"Why should Kramatorsk residents listen to some ‘guest actors’ who have come here and made decisions on what we should do and how our enterprises should operate," one of the protesters said.

"I believe Kramatorsk must have its say, appeal to the president (Pyotr Poroshenko) and law enforcement agencies to immediately stop this blockade that destroys our country," he added.

City residents say Ukrainian enterprises are affected by the blockade, which, for its turn, will have drastic aftermath for all residents of the country.

"Billions of dollars that will have to be paid for coal will mean growing electricity prices, growing prices of heating. This means that city enterprises will come to a halt, the dollar will rise and, of course, the population will be impoverished," local residents say.

Protesters are carrying posters reading "Blockade is a road into the darkness. We need guarantees of work, heating and electricity" and "By blocking coal from Ukraine’s east you destroy the country".

Earlier in the day, a similar rally was held in Kiev-controlled Avdeyevka, bringing together about 1,000 people, including parliamentarians.

DONi News Agency