Blast hits march in Eastern Ukraine, killing 2

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

20 PHOTOS
Ukraine Blast -- Ouster of Yanukovych -- Anniversary
See Gallery
Blast hits march in Eastern Ukraine, killing 2
(L-R) President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, wife of Ukrainian President Marina Poroshenko, the President Petro Poroshenko, President of Germany Joachim Gauck, unidentified person, Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament Volodymyr Groysman, President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite lead the a few-thousand column of the people during the a 'Dignity March' in Kiev on February 22, 2015. Ukraine's capital commemorates the first anniversary of the gunning down of dozens of protesters taking part in an uprising that toppled the country's pro-Kremlin leader, with the march attended by several European leaders. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
Forensic experts work at a site of an explosion, as a body of a victim is covered with a Ukrainian flag in Kharkiv, Ukraine Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Two people were killed and about a dozen injured in a bomb explosion at a march Sunday in Ukraine’s second-largest city marking the first anniversary of the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s interior ministry said. The Interior Ministry said the blast was due to an “unknown explosive device” and was being considered a terrorist act. A police officer was one of the dead, it said. (AP Photo/Sergey Kozlov)
(L-R) Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, President of Germany Joachim Gauck, President of the European Council Donald Tusk set candles during the ceremony on Independence Square in Kiev on February 22, 2015. Ukraine's capital commemorated the first anniversary of the gunning down of dozens of protesters taking part in an uprising that toppled the country's pro-Kremlin leader, with the 'Dignity March' attended by several European leaders. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY (Photo credit should read SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), (2L-R) President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski, German President Joachim Gauck and European Council President Donald Tusk light candles as they attend ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the uoster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a hopeful sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Guido Bergmann/Bundesregierung via Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) walks arm in arm with his wife Maryna and German President Joachim Gauck as others, including Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and European Council President Donald Tusk, participate in the 'March of Diginity' prior to ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a hopeful sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C-R) leads a procession that includes German President Joachim Gauck (L of Poroshenko), Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite (R of Poroshhenko), Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko (between Poroshenko and Grybauskaite) and others at ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a promising sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (C) crosses himself after laying a candle as German President Joachim Gauck (behind Poroshenko) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R of Gauck) follow at ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a promising sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance.(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: German President Joachim Gauck (L) and European Council President Donald Tusk greet Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko at ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the uoster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a hopeful sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (C- L), German President Joachim Gauck (C-R) and European Council President Donald Tusk (R) lay candles at ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a promising sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: People hold up a giant Ukrainian flag following ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Tens of thousands as well as several European heads of state attended the event. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a promising sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A woman distributes a piece of a huge pancake during celebrations of Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week outside Simferopol, Crimea, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Maslenitsa is a traditional Russian holiday marking the end of winter that dates back to pagan times. (AP Photo/Alexander Polegenko)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 22: People hold up a giant Ukrainian flag following ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the Maidan revolution that led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich one year ago at Maidan Independence Square on February 22, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Tens of thousands as well as several European heads of state attended the event. Meanwhile Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists have exchanged prisoners in a promising sign that the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements might still have a chance. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 21: People lay candles and flowers at a memorial to commemorate victims of the Maidan uprising one year ago on Maidan square the day before a march in which several European heads of state are scheduled to participate on February 21, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukraine is commemorating the first anniversary of the February 20, 2014 sniper attacks that killed dozens of protesters on the Maidan and were followed by the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich shortly later. Meanwhile fighting between pro-Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists is continuing in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine despite the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
KIEV, UKRAINE - FEBRUARY 21: People lay candles and flowers at memorials to victims of the Maidan uprising one year ago on Maidan square the day before a march in which several European heads of state are scheduled to participate on February 21, 2015 in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukraine is commemorating the first anniversary of the February 20, 2014 sniper attacks that killed dozens of protesters on the Maidan and were followed by the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich shortly later. Meanwhile fighting between pro-Ukrainian troops and pro-Russian separatists is continuing in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine despite the recent Minsk ceasefire agreements. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Russia-backed rebels hold food products while accompanying a bus carrying Ukrainian prisoners of war in Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Russia-backed rebels escort Ukrainian prisoners of war loaded on a truck before a prisoner exchange, near Zholobok, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
A Russia-backed rebel guards a bus of Ukrainian war prisoners as the Soviet Union flag flies above a construction in a field, near Zholobok, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Ukrainian prisoners of war wait in formation before a prisoner exchange in Russia-backed separatist-controlled territory, near Zholobok, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Russia-backed rebels ride on a tank outside Luhansk, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015. Ukrainian military and separatist representatives exchanged dozens of prisoners under cover of darkness at a remote frontline location Saturday evening, kicking off a process intended to usher in peace to the conflict-ridden east. Ukrainian troops and rebels were exchanged, according to a separatist official overseeing the prisoner swap at a no man's land location near the village of Zholobok, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of the rebel-held city Luhansk. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Two people were killed and about a dozen injured in a bomb explosion at a march Sunday in Ukraine's second-largest city marking the first anniversary of the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych, the country's interior ministry said.

The Interior Ministry said the blast in the eastern city Kharkiv was due to an "unknown explosive device" and was being considered a terrorist act. A police officer was one of the dead, it said.

The violence comes as Ukraine continues to be riven by tension and bloodshed stemming from Yanukovych's fall a year ago. The Ukrainian parliament voted Feb. 22, 2014 to remove the Russia-friendly president, following months of increasingly violent protests in the capital, Kiev.

The Crimean peninsula, where residents largely regarded his downfall as a coup, was annexed by Russia a month later.

Then armed rebels opposed to the new authorities in Kiev took over large parts of two regions bordering Russia, setting off a war that has killed more than 5,600 people.

A peace plan envisioning a cease-fire and pullback of heavy weapons was signed 10 days ago, but cease-fire violations continue.

Ukraine plans to begin pulling back heavy weaponry from the front lines on Sunday in accordance with the peace plan, a military spokesman said. Ukrainian military spokesman Col. Andriy Lysenko told a briefing that the withdrawal was to begin, but did not give further details.

Rebel spokesman Eduard Basurin said the pullback from both sides is to take place between Sunday and March 7, but he did not specify whether rebels had made any moves yet. There was no immediate confirmation that the withdrawal had begun.

Both sides are to pull back their big guns and rockets from 25 to 70 kilometers (15 to 43 miles) away from the conflict line -- depending on the weapons' size -- creating a buffer zone of between 50 and 140 kilometers (31-87 miles).

The buffer zone was a main element of a peace agreement worked out in marathon negotiations 10 days ago in Minsk, Belarus. It also calls for a full exchange of war captives. Late Saturday, 139 Ukrainian soldiers and 52 rebels were exchanged; it remains unclear how many prisoners in total are on each side and when other swaps might take place.

The cease-fire that was the first element of the Minsk plan was called into effect last Sunday.

Ukraine said Russia-backed separatists violated the cease-fire a dozen times during the night with artillery and rocket attacks and an attempt to storm a Ukrainian encampment. Lysenko said one serviceman was killed and three wounded over the past day.

Explosions were heard in the main rebel-held city Donetsk around dawn on Sunday and a rebel website says several buildings in the city were damaged by artillery.

Despite the reported violations, the level of firing appeared to be far lower than a week ago.

Among the attacks reported by the Ukrainian military was an attempt to storm positions in the village of Shyrokyne near the port city of Mariupol. That city remains of strategic concern to Ukraine because rebel seizure of it could help establish a land corridor between mainland Russia and the Russia-annexed Crimean peninsula.

Kharkiv, where the Sunday explosion took place, has considerable symbolic importance in the drama of Yanukovych's ouster. Part of the heavily industrialized east that had been his base of support, the city was the last place he was publicly seen in Ukraine before surfacing in exile in Russia.

He had fled Kiev the evening before, and in Kharkiv he gave a video interview bitterly likening the protesters against him to Nazis.

Opponents of the new Kiev regime seized some buildings in Kharkiv after his ouster, but unlike the neighboring Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the city settled down and remained in government control.

In Kiev, thousands participated in a march on Sunday commemorating the events of a year ago and honoring the more than 100 protesters who died during them. President Petro Poroshenko led the ceremony, joined by foreign representatives including the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Georgia and the European Union.

More on AOL.com:
Pentagon chief: Training Afghan forces key to US mission
Retired police officer kills daughters, self in N.Y. suburb
Crews free humpback whale tangled in fishing line off Hawaii

Read Full Story

People are Reading