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Ukrainian Canadians rallying at Toronto Russian consulate

Ukrainian Canadians and supporters are demonstrating again on Sunday in front of the Russian consulate in Toronto.

The rally, which began at 11:30 a.m. at 175 Bloor St. E., is the second one held this weekend in front of the consulate to protest Russia’s decision to seize control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Russian troops have been arriving in the area after the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the green light on Saturday to use the country’s military in Ukraine.

In response, Ukraine has called up its military reserve.

Rally organizer Ukrainian Canadian Congress said the demonstration is “in protest of the naked aggression by Russia against Ukraine.”

On Saturday, Canada recalled its ambassador from Moscow and joined its allies by condemning Russia’s move. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said the actions “are a clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. They are also in violation of Russia’s obligations under international law.”

U.S. President Barack Obama personally delivered the same message to Putin during a 90-minute phone call late Saturday.

He not only urged Putin to pull his forces back to Russian bases in Crimea, but also to refrain from interfering elsewhere in the former Soviet republic.

Political turmoil in Ukraine pushed President Viktor Yanukovych from office following massive pro-democracy protests after he rejected a partnership agreement with the European Union in favour of deepening his country’s historical ties with Moscow.

Russia has insisted the intervention is to protect the citizens following Yanukovych’s removal from office.

With files from The Canadian Press