April 12, 2014
At least 15 armed men seized police headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk on Saturday, extending takeovers of public building by pro-Russian militants who have been demanding autonomy from Kiev.
Government buildings in two other Russian-speaking cities, Donetsk and Luhansk, have been occupied by separatists since last weekend, in what the new pro-Europe leadership in Kiev says is part of a plan drawn up by the Kremlin to dismember Ukraine.
Russia annexed Ukraine’s Russian-majority Crimea region last month after pro-Europe protesters toppled Kiev’s Kremlin-backed president. Moscow denies having any designs on other regions of Ukraine but says Russian speakers there must be protected from possible persecution by the interim authorities in Kiev.
“Armed men in camouflage uniforms seized the police department in Slaviansk. The response will be very tough because there is a difference between protesters and terrorists,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on his Facebook .