Shortly after self-proclaimed Donetsk governor Pavlo Gubarev was arrested for seizure of administrative buildings on March 6, around 200 of his most dedicated followers gathered near the Security Service of Ukraine building to protest the move.
Police soon arrived at the scene and forced the crowd several blocks away. Some activists were detained and put into a police bus, but protesters stopped several minibuses and two trolleybuses to block the police bus. Some 30 minutes later police released the detainees and the bus was let go.
Protesters chanted "Russia," "Putin," "Gubarev" and "Freedom."
The protest went on for a couple more hours as part of the crowd came back to the SBU office.
Gubarev's main message as a self-proclaimed governor was: referendum on the territorial status of Donetsk Oblast and non-recognition of Kyiv authorities and the central government's appointed governor, oligarch Serhiy Taruta.
"Now even more people will come to the rally, because if he (Gubarev) is taken to Kyiv then the Right Sector will make a zombie of him," says Oleksiy Matviychuk, a construction worker and protest participant from Donetsk.
"But they won't let him go unless half of the city comes out, and that's exactly what will happen now. Kyiv will feel bad when miners come to protest and they will soon," he added.
Others say they want justice and same laws for everyone.
"Double standards are being applied, it is obvious. He is charged with seizure of administration buildings, but that's exactly what people in Kyiv did, why are they free then," says another protester, Viktor Shalgunov.
"We are here for justice, that's it," he said.
Many say they don't see a leader who could be in charge of Donetsk now.
"Whatever were Gubarev's motives people followed him, that means he is the only right person to lead us," Matviychuk explained.
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