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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lugansk occupation reinforced. -Protesters had found an arsenal of weapons within the building.

Pro-Russian separatists reinforced barricades around the state security building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on Wednesday and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin for help after the government warned it could use force to restore order.

"Of course we must ask Russia to take us in because I don't see an alternative," said a man dressed in camouflage who gave his name as Vasiliy and said he was the commandant of the building. "Putin help us!" he said.


The former KGB headquarters is one of three government buildings seized this week in eastern Ukraine by protesters demanding regional referendums on independence from Kiev, like the one in Crimea that led to its annexation by Russia.
Sandbags and wooden crates were piled near the entrance of the building to defend it against the police. Men with rifles could be seen through broken windows above.

But protesters were also engaged in talks to ease the standoff, which Kiev has said could provide a pretext for a Russian invasion, and lawmakers from eastern Ukraine proposed an amnesty for protesters to defuse tension.

  • More than 50 people held "hostage" by pro-Russian militants who seized a security building in eastern Ukraine have been released, the state security service said on Wednesday.

  • The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said that 56 people had walked free thanks to two rounds of negotiations and no one was injured.

The SBU agency did not specify how many people were still allegedly being held.

Local police spokeswoman Tatyana Pogukai said protesters had found an arsenal of weapons within the building. Protesters say they have 200-300 Kalashnikov automatic rifles. She denied previous reports that hostages had been taken.

  • Protesters in Donetsk, to the south, remain in control of the main regional authority building, but authorities have ended the occupation in the city of Kharkiv.

"A resolution to this crisis will be found within the next 48 hours," Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told reporters in the capital Kiev.

  • Ukraine's government says the actions are part of a Russian-led plan to dismember the country, a charge Moscow denies.

Putin said Wednesday he hoped Kiev would not take any irreversible steps amid the crisis in Ukraine and Russia's diplomatic efforts would be successful.

"I hope that the acting [authorities] will not do anything that can't be fixed later," Putin said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Putin also said he hoped Russian efforts to calm tensions through talks would "have consequences" and a "positive" result.

Moscow also denied allegations Wednesday that it was beefing up its military presence near the Ukrainian border. 

[ http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/853639.shtml#.U0WYaaJql5Y]
9/4/14

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