Clear Kiev protesters first, says pro-Russian sit-in group

by Reuters
Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:28 GMT

DONETSK, Ukraine, April 17 (Reuters) - Pro-Russian separatists occupying a local government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk said on Thursday they would not leave until supporters of Ukraine's new government quit their camp around Kiev's main square, known as the Maidan.

Asked how his group will react to an international accord in Geneva under which the Ukrainian and Russian governments agreed that illegal occupations of buildings and squares must end, Alexander Zakharchenko, a protest leader inside the Donetsk regional government building, told Reuters by telephone:

"If it means all squares and public buildings, then I guess it should start with the Maidan in Kiev. We'll see what they do there before we make our decision here."

Ukrainian nationalists and other groups who helped overthrow the Moscow-backed president in Kiev two months ago have maintained barricades around the Maidan. Many have said they will not leave until they are satisfied by the result of a presidential elecction to be held on May 25. (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Writing by Alastair Macdonald; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

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