Russian flags flood Crimean capital as thousands back takeover by Russia
Published on Mar 9, 2014 9:52 PM
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AFP) - Russian flags flooded Lenin Square in the centre of Crimea's capital Simferopol on Sunday as thousands rallied in support of Moscow's takeover of the peninsula - vastly overwhelming a smaller pro-Ukraine demonstration nearby.
The rival rallies in Simferopol were peaceful, in contrast to the Crimean port city of Sevastopol, where about 100 pro-Russians with clubs and whips attacked some 20 people who were guarding a pro-Ukraine rally.
Some 10,000 people joined the pro-Russia rally in Simferopol, chanting "Russia! Russia!" as a navy band played patriotic Russian songs and dancers twirled on stage.
"We will overcome all adversity, all obstacles and we will restore historic justice," the newly installed pro-Russian Prime Minister of Crimea, Mr Sergei Aksyonov, told the crowd. "Together with Russia we will build our future!" he cried, prompting shouts of "Hurrah! Hurrah!" from the crowd.
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