Protesters Seize Donetsk, Luhansk Security HQ

World | April 7, 2014, Monday // 11:33|  views

Pro-Russian protesters have set up barricades in front of Donetsk's regional administration. They demand that a referendum be held on their region's status within Ukraine. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Activists have taken control over Ukrainian Security Service's headquarters in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Ukrainian police reported that "unknown people" had "seized weapons" after breaking into security headquarters in Luhansk, as they were quoted by the BBC.

This development comes after administrative buildings in Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv were seized by pro-Russian protesters on Sunday amid episodes of violence across Eastern Ukraine.

Kharkiv's regional administration building has meanwhile been freed, as Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook profile.

Upon raiding the local government headquarters on Sunday night, activists reportedly raised a Russian flag.

They declared themselves to be supporters of Ukraine's federalization.

Demonstrators in Donetsk have announced intentions to hold a referendum on the region's status which might involve joining Russia, as Crimea did after the regional poll on March 16.

Avakov and other officials are currently in Eastern Ukraine seeking to de-escalate violence. Ukraine's Interior Ministry has called them "separatists", a description already adopted by the country's news agency UNIAN.

An emergency security meeting is to take place later on Monday, as Ukraine's actin President Oleksandr Turchynov announced after cancelling a visit to Lithuania to deal with the ongoing situation to the east.

Tensions are again on the rise in Ukraine, weeks after the Crimean Peninsula voted to break away from the country and join Russia, a move which Moscow recognized by officially incorporating the region.

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Tags: Ukraine, Crimea, Russia, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, security, headquarters, hq, Avakov, Turchynov


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