Pro-Russian protesters storm state building in Lugansk

  • AFP, Lugansk
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 29, 2014 18:39 IST

A Ukrainian government soldier aims his weapon as he guards a checkpoint near the village of Dolina, eastern Ukraine. (AP photo)

More than 3,000 pro-Russian protesters stormed the regional administration building in the eastern Ukraine city of Lugansk on Tuesday, AFP journalists at the scene reported.

A vanguard of around 20 youths armed with metal bars broke a window to get inside the building, which was not protected by police.

They pulled down the building's Ukrainian flag, replacing it with a Russian one, and opened the building's doors to the waiting crowd.

Inside the building's courtyard, around 100 riot police massed together in a defensive position behind their shields in a stand-off with the protesters, who did not immediately attack them.

Pro-Moscow militants in Lugansk, a city of 465,000 inhabitants near the Russian border, seized the local SBU security services building three weeks ago.


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