Protesters in Boston Rally Against Occupation of Ukraine

(NECN: Brian Burnell, Boston) - Across Ukraine Sunday, there were protests for and against Russia's invasion of the Crimea region.

In the eastern city of Donetsk, police had to separate the two groups as they chanted and waved signs. In the Kiev, thousands of people who support Ukraine's new government marched through Independence Square holding various flags, including the flag of the European Union.

In Boston, there was no rally in favor of the invasion. Sunday marked the sixth rally that Ukrainian-Americans have held in opposition.

About 50 people protested at Faneuil Hall, split between those concerned with unrest in Venezuela and those who see Russian troops invade Crimea and wonder what's next.

Many believe Russian President Vladimir Putin is fomenting the collapse of democracy in Ukraine.

"He's not necessarily trying to start a war with Ukraine," said organizer Ilya Timtchenko. "He is trying to start a civil war within Ukraine, so that after Ukraine destroys itself within, and once it becomes weak enough, then he can victoriously come in to save the Russians within Ukraine."

The situation in Crimea brings up images of the darkest times in human historty. And some Ukrainians believe that sanctions suggested by President Obama are just not enough.

"Absolutely all options should be on the table, including military aid to Ukraine," said student Oleh Kotsyuba. "I don't think just economic sanctions will be enough. Putin is effectively a bully, and as a bully, he will understand only the language of force."

Social media is playing a vital role in Ukraine, as people there let their friends here know what is happening.

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