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At least two people have been killed and 10 more injured after a bomb exploded at a rally in Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv.

The rally was one of several being held to mark a year since the Kiev uprising that led to the fall of pro-Russia leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Security forces have detained four suspects in the attack, officials say.

Kharkiv lies outside the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, where a ceasefire appears finally to be taking hold.

The Ukrainian government has agreed to start pulling back heavy weapons from February 22, and the rebels said they would start the process on February 24.

The pullback will not be completed until at least March 8, five days later than the deadline set at peace talks in Minsk this month.

Another key element of the Minsk deal moved forward on February 21 when the Ukrainian government and the rebels exchanged 191 prisoners.

The ceasefire continues to be breached, notably in Debaltseve, a key transport hub captured by the rebels in recent days, an OSCE official said.Ukraine bomb blasts at Kharkiv rally

Alexander Hug added that the humanitarian situation there was “relatively catastrophic”.

“The local population reported to us that there is no water, no food, no gas, no heating, no electricity, no medication. And all the buildings that our monitors have seen (…) have been affected by the fighting,” he said.

The explosion in Kharkiv happened at 13:20 as people gathered near the city’s Palace of Sport for a march in support of national unity, Ukrainian media say.

Officials initially said an explosive device had been thrown from a car but later said it had been buried in the snow.

“Security service detained persons who may have been involved in the preparation and carrying out of crimes of a terrorist nature in Kharkiv, including the explosion,” security spokesman Markian Lubkivskyi wrote on his Facebook page.

He later said the four suspects were Ukrainian citizens who had received instruction and weapons in the Russian city of Belgorod, just across the border.

Markian Lubkivskyi also posted a picture of a rocket launcher which he said the suspects were planning to use in attacks in the city.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko described the attack as “a bold attempt to expand the territory of terrorism” and promised to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Before Sunday’s explosion, Kharkiv, in the north-east of Ukraine, had seen more than a dozen attacks over three months, including an explosion in a bar used by pro-government activists which injured more than 10 people in November.

That attack was blamed on a pro-Russian group calling itself the Kharkiv Partisans.

Meanwhile, thousands of Ukrainians have been taking part in “dignity marches” in the capital Kiev and other cities, remembering the victims of sniper fire during protests last February.

European leaders including European Council president Donald Tusk, German President Joachim Gauck and the leaders of Lithuania, Poland and Moldova have been attending in Kiev.

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Ukrainian nationalists have torn down a statue of Lenin in the centre of Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city, in a move supported by officials.

People cheered and leapt for joy as the statue came crashing down.

Pro-Russian demonstrators in the largely Russian-speaking city defended the statue in February, when President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted.

Kharkiv escaped the violent unrest which swept through east Ukraine’s other regions, Donetsk and Luhansk.

A fragile cease-fire has been in place for weeks between pro-Russian separatists in those two regions.

Ukrainian nationalists have torn down Lenin statue in the centre of Kharkiv

Ukrainian nationalists have torn down Lenin statue in the centre of Kharkiv

On Sunday night, when nationalist protesters had already gathered around the statue for a “Kharkiv is Ukraine” rally, the governor of Kharkiv region, Ihor Baluta, signed an order to dismantle the statue.

Some correspondents say the order was probably a last-minute face-saving move.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook that he had given orders for police to ensure only the safety of people, “not the idol”.

“Lenin? Let him fall…” he wrote.

“As long as people don’t get hurt. As long as this bloody communist idol does not take more victims with it when it goes.”

However, Ukrainian media reported that police had begun an investigation into “vandalism”.

One protester was reportedly injured in the head as Lenin statue was dismantled.

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The bodies of victims from crashed MH17 plane have been moved out of the rebel-held area in eastern Ukraine.

The remains, carried by train, have arrived in the city of Kharkiv, outside rebel territory.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in an area held by pro-Russia rebels on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.

Meanwhile, international monitors say parts of the wreckage have been changed and cut into since they first saw them.

MH17 remains have arrived in the city of Kharkiv, outside rebel territory

MH17 remains have arrived in the city of Kharkiv, outside rebel territory

Western nations say there is growing evidence the rebels shot down the plane using a missile supplied by Russia.

Russia has suggested Ukrainian government forces are to blame.

Most of those who died in the crash of the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 were Dutch, and the first remains are due to be flown from Kharkiv to the Dutch city of Eindhoven on Wednesday.

From there, they will go to a facility in the Dutch city of Hilversum for identification – a process which could take months, Dutch PM Mark Rutte warned.

The bodies will be kept in refrigerated rail carriages in Kharkiv while they are being prepared for transport, a spokeswoman for the Dutch forensics team has said.

Countries directly affected by the disaster, such as the Netherlands, Australia, and the UK, have been concerned that the crash site was not properly sealed off, with the risk that valuable evidence could be put at risk.

European Union foreign ministers are meeting to consider further sanctions against Russia over its alleged backing for the rebels – something Moscow denies.

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Pro-Russian protesters have stormed government buildings in eastern Ukrainian cities Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kharkiv.

Protesters clashed with police, waved Russian flags and called for a referendum on independence from Ukraine.

Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov called an emergency security meeting.

The unrest comes amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine over the removal of pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych and Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

In Donetsk, about 50 people broke away from a rally of about 2,000 people in the city centre, and got past a police cordon to enter the regional administration building.

The activists shouted “Donetsk is a Russian city” and raised Russian flags above the building.

Pro-Russian protesters clashed with police, waved Russian flags and called for a referendum on independence from Ukraine

Pro-Russian protesters clashed with police, waved Russian flags and called for a referendum on independence from Ukraine (photo Reuters)

Some called for the region to have a referendum on the region’s independence from Ukraine.

A similar referendum held in the Crimean peninsula in March led to Russia’s annexation.

In Luhansk, near the Russian border, dozens of demonstrators stormed the offices of the state security agency.

Ukrainian media said protesters pelted the building with eggs, a smoke grenade and a firebomb.

Similar incidents were later reported in Kharkiv.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has vowed to protect Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.

President Oleksandr Turchynov has cancelled a diplomatic trip to Lithuania to deal with the unrest, according to his press service.

The statement said Oleksandr Turchynov would hold an emergency meeting with the heads of security services.

Tensions are running high between Ukraine and Russia, with thousands of Russian soldiers still said to be deployed along the border.

Viktor Yanukovych was forced from office in February, following months of street protests.

The new administration has faced continuing opposition from Ukraine’s Russian-speaking regions, particularly in the east of the country.

Russia has said it will defend the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine – which it claims are under threat under the new government – but has said it will not send troops into the rest of the country.

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According to officials, two people have been killed in clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian activists in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv.

Five people were injured overnight, as gunshots were fired. Rival groups blamed each other for the violence.

Earlier, Russia and the US failed to agree on how to resolve the crisis in Ukraine’s Crimea region, ahead of a secession referendum there.

Russia vowed to respect Sunday’s vote – but the US said it was illegitimate.

Moscow has been tightening its military grip on Crimea – the southern autonomous republic in Ukraine – where voters are to decide on whether to re-join Russia or stay with Kiev.

The violence reportedly began on Kharkiv’s Svoboda Square on Friday evening and later moved to an office of a pro-Ukrainian group in the city.

Two people have been killed in clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian activists in Ukraine's eastern city of Kharkiv

Two people have been killed in clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian activists in Ukraine’s eastern city of Kharkiv

Eyewitnesses said that pro-Russian activists tried to storm the rival protesters, who had barricaded themselves in.

The witnesses said that shots had been fired and Molotov cocktails thrown in.

Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes was later quoted by Ukrainian media as saying that two people were killed and five injured.

Meanwhile, Kharkiv Governor Ihor Baluta called the incident “a provocation”.

Both rival groups blame each other for starting the clashes. A criminal investigation is now under way.

This follows Thursday night’s violence in Donetsk, also in the east, where at least one person died in fighting between a pro-Russian crowd and supporters of the new government in Kiev.

Ukraine accuses Russia of using provocateurs to stoke unrest on the eastern border. Moscow denies this, vowing to protect its “compatriots” from far-right radicals.

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