Ukraine: government buildings seized in Luhansk

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Ukraine: government buildings seized in Luhansk

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In Ukraine’s troubled east, hundreds of demonstrators have stormed an administration building in Luhansk.

The Ukrainian government said local police did not oppose the move.

Some protesters reportedly ripped up a portrait of Ukraine’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov.

The so-called people’s government in Luhansk had proposed that the Kyiv authorities hold a peaceful referendum on giving greater power to Ukraine’s regions.

One masked activist said the lack of response confirms that they don’t want peace: “Today we seized the main regional government administration building in order to hold a referendum on May 11,” he said. “We are hoping it will take place.”

Activists then took control of the regional prosecutor’s office and the television centre in Luhansk.

Meanwhile Turchynov demanded the dismissal of police chiefs in Luhansk and Donetsk.

The interim president said much of the police in the east of the country had proven incapable of fulfilling their duties.