Eastern Ukraine Police Station Seized By Pro-Russia Group

Paramilitaries demand a referendum on joining Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

TIME

Dozens of armed men seized a police station in eastern Ukraine on Saturday then hoisted the Russian flag, further escalating tension in the restive region as thousands of Russian troops remain massed along the border.

The takeover occurred in the small town of Slovyansk, the Associated Press reports, just south of Donetsk, where pro-Russia protesters have occupied a government building for about a week. Approximately 20 men sporting automatic rifles, balaclavas and ribbons that symbolize the Soviet Union’s victory in WWII were seen guarding the station’s entrance as another group of men was believed to be inside.

One of the masked men, who identified himself to the AP only as “Sergei,” said the group has “only one demand: a referendum and joining Russia.”

The police station was seized, he added, so the group could protect it from the radical nationalists in the western part of Ukraine. Pro-Russia protesters blame those…

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