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Armed men seize police station in eastern Ukraine



SLOVYANSK, Ukraine (AP) - At least a dozen armed men in camouflage seized a police station in a small town in eastern Ukraine on Saturday morning as tensions in the country's Russia-speaking regions intensify.

The town of Slovyansk 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. Protesters hoisted the Russian flag above the building, photos and videos from the scene showed.

The men who stormed the police station haven't presented any demands, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said.

Minister Arsen Avakov pledged a "very tough response" to the seizure while local media reported special forces dispatched to the area.

Videos on a local website showed several men armed with machine guns in balaclavas guarding the entrance to the police station. They are all wearing St. George's ribbons, a symbol of the Soviet Union's victory in WWII, which has become a symbol of pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine.

Gunshots rang out in a video from the scene after an armed man shouted to a cameraman to stop recording. No casualties were immediately reported.

Pro-Russian Gunmen Seize Police Station In Eastern Ukraine


The town's mayor, Nelya Shtepa, said on local television that she is holding talks with the attackers who she insisted were from the area.

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 with the possibility of holding another later on whether to join Russia.

Ukraine's eastern industrial heartland was the support base for Kremlin-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February after months of protests. Last month, the Crimea region voted to secede and was annexed by Russia - but only after Russia took over the peninsula by force.

The Ukrainian government has accused Russia of fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine in a bid to derail next months' presidential election in Ukraine.

___

Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report from Kiev.

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mybunkey April 12 2014 at 8:36 AM

why are they wearing full face ski masks? I thought they are soldiers and not terrorists!

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3 replies
billcdaly April 12 2014 at 11:17 AM

Russia has learned from the middle eastern countries. It's never the actual country / government that invades or takes over, it's anonymous supporters. However the result is still the same.

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myste98325 April 12 2014 at 12:00 PM

If they holler, let them go!!!! The people supporting Russia, do't have to stay there? Why are they, go in peace :)

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Jim April 12 2014 at 12:19 PM

At this point it is only a matter of time. Eastern and Southern Ukraine "Regions" will join the Russian Federation. While President Putin expands Russian power and reach, our President "talks" about sending our Natural Gas to assist the EU. But his Administration refuses to process the paperwork for the LNG loading facilities. Fine. We need our LNG here, to power our big rigs, our public transportation and our railroads. If we send the LNG to the EU, the cost of Natural Gas for our middle class will "skyrocket". Would our President do such a thing?

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1 reply
sandinbox Jim April 12 2014 at 2:06 PM

Jim you're a Putin troll......We'll be just fine if Obama sends our reserves there which would choke Putin and show him where the big bear *****. I haven't given up on Obama ...he might do the right thing yet. If he doesn't really help Ukraine now we'll all know that the democrats have sold out America's security in the future and they will surly lose the next election in droves.

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Brad April 12 2014 at 10:59 AM

The responce will probably be the same kind of Responce Obama has given to Russia in the past few weeks means exactly nothing at all. Look out Ukrain "here come the Russians" as Hillary say's What does it matter"

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1 reply
ramonbatt Brad April 12 2014 at 11:36 AM

Very true. Obama big words on any disputes. I AM DIPLY CONCERN! Wait? On everything while he does nothing! Yes" Ukraine is Russia next state. I give all the credit to Putin! Putin has every right now to send troops to Ukraine. He knows EU /NATO can not protect Ukraine because they made it clear no troops will be sent to Ukraine. We F,,, Ukraine in 1994!!!! You wonder why many country's don't trust or like the USA?

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spike April 12 2014 at 12:33 PM

.Ukrainian Russians are running amok ,just daring Ukrainian authorities to do anything about it

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1 reply
Vimala Nowlis spike April 12 2014 at 1:35 PM

It's OK for pro-West folks in Kiev and Cairo to run amok and topple elected government but no one else is allowed the same right?

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1 reply
sandinbox Vimala Nowlis April 12 2014 at 2:02 PM

You're not Ukrainian so shut your mouth...we don't want to hear you you Putin Troll....Liar...damn liar... Ukraine does not belong to Russia and those living in Ukraine who want to be part of Russia should move their...you will not be missed.

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dorc792 April 12 2014 at 3:07 PM

obama must consult with his muslim boss.....saudi arabia ....on what to do next

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1 reply
silkroadg dorc792 April 12 2014 at 3:37 PM

BINGO!

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opticianandynj4u April 12 2014 at 4:13 PM

ITS TIME TO NUKE RUSSIA

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opticianandynj4u April 12 2014 at 4:14 PM

WE SHOULD TAKE OVER CANADA

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libsfault April 12 2014 at 10:23 AM

What's the next big verbal threat ???? Oh...wait I know .....What's it matter now!!!!!

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