Pro-Russia protesters storm government buildings in eastern Ukraine
In Luhansk, police in riot gear clashed with masked protesters who lobbed firecrackers in the air and kicked and pulled at the metal shields held by security force members.
Russia last month annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine a controversial regional referendum declared the territory’s independent from Ukraine and paved the way to its absorption by Russian Federation.
Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU have declared the vote illegal as have most countries in the United Nations General Assembly.
On Friday, British Foreign Minister William Hague said Europe should continue its “strong and united” response to Russia’s escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. He said there has only been a “token withdrawal” of troops massed near the Ukrainian border, whose presence has raised fears of a Russian invasion.
Western nations have already adopted sanctions against Russia because of its annexation of the Crimean peninsula.
Russia moved into the peninsula early last month following the ouster of Ukraine’s Moscow-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych. He fled after weeks of opposition protests calling for him to step down.