Residents of the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk have held what they called a "unity rally" meant to help mend a rift between President Petro Poroshenko and the regional governor he recently fired.
The March 28 rally was also aimed at easing concerns that Ukraine is at risk of unraveling into privately ruled fiefdoms.
On March 25, Poroshenko dismissed the powerful tycoon Ihor Kolomoyskiy as governor of Dnipropetrovsk, a region near separatist-held territory in the southeast.
Kolomoyskiy’s dismissal followed a public dispute over control of state oil companies and accusations that he used private armed forces to protect and promote his interests.
Kolomoyskiy had been one of the government’s allies, and his militias helped stop Russian-backed separatists from moving beyond the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.
But an uneasy alliance with Poroshenko appeared to disintegrate in recent weeks as Kolomoyskiy clashed with the government over control of two state-owned energy companies, Ukrnafta and Ukrtransnafta.
With additional reporting by AFP and The New York Times