Monday, Sep 22, 2014

Armed men seize eastern Ukraine police station

Riot police officers watch as masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office after their talks, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Saturday. (AP) Riot police officers watch as masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office after their talks, in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Saturday. (AP)
Associated Press | Donetsk | Posted: April 12, 2014 3:34 pm

At least a dozen armed men have seized a police station in a small town in eastern Ukraine as tensions in the country’s Russia-speaking regions intensify.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said men in camouflage stormed a police station in Slovyansk early Saturday. The town is about 90 kilometers  (55 miles) south of the regional center, Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters have occupied a government building for nearly a week.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov pledged a “very tough response” to the seizure.

Video on a local website showed several armed men in balaclavas guarding the entrance to the police station.

Protesters who have held the administration building in Donetsk since Sunday initially called for a referendum on secession but later reduced the demand to a vote on autonomy within Ukraine.

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