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Donetsk Billboard Bids 'Goodbye' to Russia Ahead of Unity Rally

Published: April 5, 2014 (Issue # 1804)



  • A billboard in Donetsk, east Ukraine, bids farewell to Russia.
    Photo: Revolua / Vkontakte

A billboard bidding farewell to Russia has been erected in the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk ahead of a national unity rally planned for April 12, a news report has said.

"Russia, go on, goodbye!" read the text, printed on a yellow background one of the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The word "Russia" was written in red, while the rest of the message was printed in blue another color of the Ukrainian flag.

The billboard was timed to mark the national "Chain of Unity" action, planned for April 12, organizers said, Ukraine's TSN.ua reported Wednesday.

Activists have been urging Ukrainians to take to the streets on that day in a show of national unity following Russia's annexation of Crimea, ostensibly carried out to protect the rights of Russian speakers there.

Donetsk, an industrial city with a large Russian-speaking population, has seen a series of rival rallies by pro-Moscow and pro-Ukrainian demonstrators, with some of the confrontations turning violent.

Activists from Pro-Ukrainian political parties and movements in the Donbass region, where Donetsk is located, had earlier painted stone columns, stanchions and trees along a 3-kilometer stretch of the city's central Ilyich Prospect in the blue and yellow colors of the national flag, TSN.ua reported.

In the wake of Russia's annexation of Crimea last month, Internet users in Donetsk also proposed holding a mock "referendum" on whether their hometown should secede to the U.K., as Donetsk was founded by a 19th-century British industrialist.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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