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Ukraine zoo pleads for funds amid upheaval

A woman passes by a graffiti that reads "The Russians are coming - Resistance" in Simferopol, Ukraine, Friday, March 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

KIEV: A zoo in Ukraine made a plea for funds to feed its animals Friday, saying they had no part in the political upheaval in the country and would start dying without aid.

“Our animals are not fighting for power, they do not share anyone’s political views, they just want to live,” the zoo in Kharkiv in northeast Ukraine said on its website.

The former Soviet state has been racked over the past months by the worst political and security crisis in its history, which has pushed it to the brink of bankruptcy.

“Along with the whole country, our zoo is living through difficult and terrifying times,” said the zoo, which was set up in the 1890s in what is Ukraine’s second-largest city and has survived both world wars.

“Without emergency measures, our completely innocent animals will start dying next week,” it said, pleading with local residents to visit the zoo or donate funds.

Kharkiv is split between pro-Russian and pro-Europe residents. Police have had to protect the city’s government headquarters from pro-Moscow protesters.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 08, 2014, on page 8.

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