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Hundreds surround Int. Ministry HQ in Lugansk, demand police surrender

Published time: April 29, 2014 16:33
Edited time: April 29, 2014 20:11
Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko

Reuters / Vasily Fedosenko

Anti-government protesters have surrounded the Interior Ministry office in Lugansk, after seizing the city’s regional administration building and prosecutor’s office.

Several hours into the gathering, a large crowd of people remains outside. According to live stream footage from the scene, the mood of the crowd is mostly joyful with people singing songs and joking. Protesters are demanding that police surrender and leave the HQ. A group of people formed a “human corridor” through which they want police to leave the building. From time to time, protesters chanted pro-Russian slogans.

For more videos and photos from the scene, follow RT’s stringer Graham Phillips on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s coup-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov has ordered Interior Minister Arsen Avakov to sack police heads in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier on Tuesday, thousands of protesters gathered in central Lugansk expecting to hear the government’s response to their ultimatum issued on Sunday. The people are demanding amnesty for all political prisoners, the holding of a referendum and making Russian the second official language. In case of no reply, the protesters vowed to take further steps.

"We waited till 14:00 local time, the time we expected the reply by. No answer was received. Kiev has completely ignored our demands,” local protest leader, Oleg Dereko, told RIA Novosti.

Protesters rallied towards the regional administration building when none of the officials responded.
The protesters, some of them armed with clubs and metal shields, have taken over the building and raised a Russian flag on top of it.

Demanding local government to come out to the people, the protesters moved to the prosecutor’s office, where, according to media estimates, some 700 people started hurling stones, breaking windows and knocking down doors. It took them ten minutes to get inside, reports said.

Comments (55)

 

CalDre 01.05.2014 08:37

fightthepower 29.04.2014 22:57

As we saw yesterday in Donetsk, they will beat those who disagree with their view. Hardly democracy in action.

  

Yesterd ay in Donetsk, hundreds of anti-federalist radicals usurped a peaceful pro-unity march and marched them toward the pro-federalist camp. These radicals have a history of violence when they meet pro-federalists, so the self-defense forces (the de facto police) met them to get them not to come. The radicals refused and so they were stopped. Simple as that.

 

CalDre 01.05.2014 08:32

fightthepower 29.04.2014 22:57

But it is not for a minority of masked thugs to organise their own joke referendums in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation.

  


Wh ere do you see fear and intimidationm, or thugs? The locals seem quite pleased with the pro-federalists - large crowds turning out, even though they are threatened with long prison sentences. The junta is intimidating with rightist "National Guard" recruited from Right Sector - already they have murdered several people and kidnapped many more.

Why oppose a free and fair referendum?

 

CalDre 01.05.2014 08:28

[quote name='fightthepower' time='29.04.2014 22:57']Ukraine government has been saying for weeks that it supports greater autonomy for the regions. Today they are discussing a national referendum on federelisation.[/quo te]

They are saying "maybe", and a national referendum doesn't do the trick. Donetsk wants its own referendum, for the people of that region to decide. Donetsk was in Russia for 200 years, and has been in Ukraine, by "accident" , for only 20 years. During this time Kiev has robbed them blind, treated them very poorly, spit on their language and culture.

I would want independence too if I lived there.

View all comments (55)
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