With Victory Day parades being held across Ukraine, the rebels of the Donetsk Peoples Republic also held their own parade on Friday. They marched from the occupied administration building that acts as their headquarters, to Lenin Square in the center of the city, as speeches from DPR leaders glorified the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany and the DPR's current fight against the so-called fascist junta in Kiev.
Photos by Henry Langston. Warning: some graphic pictures below.
However the jubilation quickly turned sour when it was announced from the stage that bloody clashes had broken out in the port city of Mariupol to the south.
Upon arrival we found the police headquarters on fire, pockmarked with bullet holes and RPG craters and tearful, angry crowds watching on.
It was difficult to ascertain what had happened but it appears armed pro-Russia forces forced their way into the headquarters who were then attacked by Ukrainian army units in a fierce and bloody firefight in which a number of civilians were caught in the crossfire.
There were conflicting reports on the number of dead, later that day the government announced 20 people had been killed whereas Human Rights Watch confirmed that at least 5 people had been killed and 60 wounded, 40 of them seriously.
It's unclear so far as to how the deadly events started in Mariupol or how many exactly died, but what is clear is that again Ukrainian civilians were caught in the deadly crossfire and this is another major escalation of events in the Donetsk region.