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Key buildings in Ukraine's eastern cities stormed by pro-Russian groups

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Key buildings in Ukraine's eastern cities stormed by pro-Russian groups


Another official building has been seized by pro-Russian supporters in the east of Ukraine. Dressed in military fatigues the armed men seized the police headquarters in Kramatorsk on Saturday following a gun battle.

Tension is rising between the new government in Kyiv and towns in the eastern region, with many buildings occupied by pro-Russian groups calling for independence from Ukraine.

In Donetsk, the Ukrainian flag was taken down from the regional police headquarters and its chief forced to resign.

Kyiv has blamed Moscow for the unrest, however, Russia denies any involvement.

Futher seizures of official buildings took place across the eastern region on Saturday. These small towns are strategic transport hubs.

In Slovyansk just 140km from the Russian border, gunmen seized a police building and the local security service headquarters before raising the Russian flag.

Ukrainian police say the men seized 400 handguns and 20 automatic weapons from the building.

The occupations mark a potential flashpoint. If Ukraine uses force against them, the Kremlin could intervene to protect the Russian speaking population in the region.

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