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Miners Enter The Fray In Eastern Ukraine

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

The shrill wails of sirens resounded throughout Ukraine's eastern rust belt on May 20, a rallying call for miners and steelworkers to unite against separatists seeking to take over their region.

Industrial workers have remained largely on the sidelines of the smoldering conflict in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian militants have been occupying key government buildings in a dozen cities.

But with separatists increasingly disrupting business, industrial bosses and trade unions are urging workers to rise against the insurgency.

Coal and steel magnate Rinat Akhmetov, who has an estimated 300,000 employees on his payroll, this week called on his employees to stage peaceful protests at their workplaces.

"The rally will start tomorrow at noon with a siren ringing at all industrial businesses of the Donbass in support of peace and against bloodshed," he said in a televised address late on May 19, adding that sirens would ring daily at noon "until peace is established."

To read the full story

RFE/RL Russian Service correspondent Dmitry Volchek and RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service contributed to this report.

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Miners Enter The Fray In Eastern Ukraine

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