A group of pro-Russian rebels on Sunday led a convoy of their vehicles through Luhansk, which has been hit hard by the recent conflict in eastern Ukraine.
An Associated Press crew was invited to join the separatists on top of one of the armoured personnel carriers used in the convoy, for part of its journey through the city.
Luhansk’s population of about 250,000 people, reduced because of the war, was commemorating “city day” on Sunday.
Armed rebel fighters led a column of battered military vehicles through the streets, waving the flags of Russia and “Novorossiya” (an unrecognised confederation of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic).
A ceasefire agreement between the Ukrainian government and the separatist rebels was agreed on 5 September.
“We’ve won so far and we’ll keep winning, This ceasefire’s, well, how shall I put it, a ‘rearrangement’,” said a pro-Russian rebel known as ‘Maestro’, who was taking part in the convoy.
Groups of Luhansk residents gathered to wave and cheer at the column of trucks as it passed through the ravaged city.
An outdoor church service for victims of the conflict was held earlier on Sunday.
© 2014 The Canadian Press