Donetsk, May 11 - DAN. Dozens of thousands of Donetsk residents and guests gathered for the Republic Day festivities in central Donetsk on Tuesday.

A large dance flashmob took place next to the city’s main square. Over 100 artists of different ages joined the show to display the multitude of Russian cultural traditions. There were many children among the participants.

“My daughter Sofia goes to the Arts Centre in Donetsk’s Proletarskiy district and today, she joined the dance flashmob,” Donetsk resident Olga said. “For us, May 11 marks another year in which we set objectives for ourselves and reached them. Our children, including my daughter, took dance classes for a year, and now they’ve shown their skills.”

Later on, residents of all DPR towns and districts marched from the city’s Artyom Street. They held banners  reading “Russia is Our Choice,” “Donetsk is a Russian City,” “Glory to the Donetsk People’s Republic” etc. Undaunted by rainy weather, many people joined the march including DPR parliament speaker Vladimir Bidyovka, deputy speaker Olga Makeyeva with her colleagues and DPR Public Chamber members.

“We have a good impression of the march. We were here on May 9, and now we’ve come for the march,” said Natalia Berlet whose whole family had come for the celebrations.

“I’ve never left Donetsk for a single day since 2014; I’ve stayed here all these seven years and lived through everything. May 11 is my holiday. I’ll mark it in my family circle, and my first toast will be for the Victory,” said retired military officer Yury Glushko. 

“Republic Day for me is the birth of a new country and the hope for a new and better life,” said Makeyevka resident Anastasia who had come for the show with her three-year-old son Maxim.

The celebrations continued in Lenin Square. Brovun Donetsk State Academic Musical and Drama Theatre singer Natalia Kachura opened the show. DPR leader Denis Pushilin and first deputy chairman of the Federation Council upper house of the Russian parliament Andrey Turchak came onto the stage to offer their best wishes on the occasion.  A performance by Donetsk State Academic Philharmonic Society artists followed. The Russian rock band Lyube is expected to perform in Lenin Square in the evening.

The DPR marks Republic’s Day on 11 May. Seven years ago today, it held a referendum on the region’s self-determination.  More than 75 percent of the region’s residents attended the plebiscite. Almost 90 percent of voters supported Donbass sovereignty.*jk