PM: Won’t budge ‘1 centimeter’ from Ukrainian land

People shout slogans as they stand next to a statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, during a rally against the breakup of the country in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Thursday, March 9, 2014. As separatists in Crimea kept up pressure for unification with Moscow, Ukraine on Sunday solemnly commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of its greatest poet, with the prime minister vowing not to give up "a single centimeter" of Ukrainian territory.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
People shout slogans as they stand next to a statue of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, during a rally against the breakup of the country in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, Thursday, March 9, 2014. As separatists in Crimea kept up pressure for unification with Moscow, Ukraine on Sunday solemnly commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of its greatest poet, with the prime minister vowing not to give up "a single centimeter" of Ukrainian territory.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

UKRAINE (AP) – Separatists in Crimea are keeping up the pressure for unification with Moscow while the Ukrainian prime minister is vowing not to give up “a single centimeter” of his country’s territory.

During a solemn commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ukraine’s greatest poet, Arseniy Yatsenyuk  said “This is our land.”

Standing before the crowd gathered at the Kiev statue to writer and nationalist Taras Shevchenko on Sunday, Yatsenyuk said “Our fathers and grandfathers have spilled their blood for this land. And we won’t budge a single centimeter from Ukrainian land. Let Russia and its president know this.”

A choir sang, and people laid bouquets at the monument to the son of peasant serfs who is considered the father of modern Ukrainian literature and is a national hero.

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