Ukraine Protesters Seize Eastern Capital of Luhansk

The Ukraine interim government’s inability to hold any serious territory in its easternmost provinces continues to be apparent today, as protesters stormed several buildings in the provincial capital of Luhansk, routing provincial police forces and raising secessionist flags.

Luhansk is Ukraine’s easternmost capital, just 20 miles from the Russian border, and has seen massive protests calling for increased autonomy from the central government, or failing that secession and accession into Russia.

The province’s takeover by protesters has been much less contentious than the similar protest movements in Donetsk and Kharkiv, where Ukrainian military forces have tried to retake cities. Luhansk, being the furthest away, will doubtless be the last to fall.

Interim President Oleksandr Turchinov followed the latest takeovers in Luhansk with a demand for the government to oust the provincial police chiefs of both provinces, accusing them of “criminal treachery” for their inability to violently crush the protests.

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