Volunteer battalions Donbas, Dnepr and Aydar, the Council of Hundreds and Maidan public organizations demand that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stop the ceasefire and declare martial law in the east.
"On behalf of the people of Ukraine… we demand that you end the ceasefire, declare martial law, give sufficient amounts of weapons to the volunteer battalions and allow them to destroy terrorists," says a statement publicized at the rally, which is taking place on Kiev Bankova Street adjacent to Instytutska Street in the vicinity of the Ukrainian presidential administration's building.
The protesters insist that the president keep his election promises of social security and life insurance of servicemen involved in the army operation in the east. They also ask the president to demand a third stage of EU sanctions on Russia.
About 1,000 people are taking part in the rally, an Interfax correspondent reports. They are holding flags of Ukraine and the European Union and a number of signs, one of which demands martial law in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Some of the protesters are wearing camouflage clothes and balaclava hats. Donbas battalion commander Semen Semchenko said they had to do so because some volunteers had families in eastern regions and they might be in danger.
The protesters handed over their demands to first deputy head of the presidential administration Hennadiy Zubko. The latter addressed the rally and said it was necessary to carry on negotiations and consultations on the situation in east Ukraine but the protesters did not listen and interrupted his speech with whistles and shouts.
As reported earlier, the Ukrainian president extended the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, which took effect on June 20 until 10 p.m. on June 30 consistent with a decision of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. Ukraine expects "centers recruiting mercenaries on the Russian territory to be shut down and the movement of illegal armed units towards the Donetsk and Luhansk regions to stop in that period."
Also, Ukraine expects steps outlined by the European Council on June 27 to be taken by Monday. These include the implementation of the peace plan of the Ukrainian president, monitoring and control over the Ukraine-Russia border situation, the transfer under Ukrainian control of the Izvaryno, Dolzhansky and Chervonopartyzansk border control posts and the release of all hostages, among them the OSCE monitors.
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