Residents of the city of Donetsk have launched a campaign to secede from Ukraine and join the United Kingdom, in honour of the city’s Welsh founder.
The campaign, which was created to parody Crimea’s referendum on joining Russia, tells citizens “Donetsk residents! English brothers! The decisive moment has come!”
The heavily industrialised city was founded by Welsh industrialist John Hughes in 1869, who received a charter from Tsar Alexander II to create a steel mill and mine for coal in the area. He was known locally as John Yuz, and the city was originally called Yuzovka.
The campaign says: “We demand a referendum on returning Yuzovka to its historical fold as part of the UK! Glory to John Hughes and his city! God save the Queen!”
The city in eastern Ukraine has been a centre of pro-Russian protests, and it is believed this campaign has been organised by residents who oppose this sentiment.
The Telegraph reports that 7,000 people had voted in an online poll by Sunday, with 61 percent favouring becoming part of Britain, and a further 16 percent voting to make the city an autonomous English-speaking region within Ukraine.