Donetsk, Jul 16 - DAN. A rally to support the nationwide Donbass Choice action began in the Forged Figures Park in Donetsk’s Voroshilovskiy district on Tuesday.

Some 3,000 residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics gathered for the event. The participants are holding banners reading “We are one million”, “Zelensky, can your hear us?” “Donbass has made its choice!” “Donbass Chooses Special Status!” etc.

An electronic real-time voice count table is installed at the entrance to the park. The number of supporters is expected to reach one million later in the day.

The event is covered by dozens of journalists from the DPR, the LPR and Russia.

Interior Ministry and Emergency Ministry personnel are watching over law and order and ambulances are on hand at the scene.

The Donbass choice action began in May. Its participants demand that Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky give a special status to Donbass, stop strikes at the Republics’ territory resume the payment of pensions to residents and recognise their right to integration with Russia. Supporters of the petition, hash-tagged ZelenskyRecogniseDonbassChoice, can sign it on the action’s website .

On June 12, Donetsk State Academic Philharmonic Society singer German Rudnitsky said that the number of supporters had been rapidly growing and offered activists including those from Lugansk, to meet in central Donetsk. Member of the Central Headquarters of the LPR Mir Luganschine social movement’s Druzhina Project Mikhail Golubovich supported the initiative to mark one million signatures with a meeting in the DPR capital.*jk