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Pro-Russian forces seize buildings in Luhansk

By Kyle Johnson,

Pro-Russian forces continue to seize control of buildings and cities in eastern Ukraine and Tuesday was no different as the regional government headquarters in Luhansk was taken over.

After taking control of the building, separatists took shots at the city's police station, but there don't appear to be any casualties, reports Reuters. Militants were able to easily waltz into the government building through the front doors, while riot police were stationed behind the building.

Kiev has struggled to control police located in the eastern cities, with acting President Oleksander Turchynov looking for the dismissal of both Donetsk and Luhansk's police chiefs. In a statement, the Ukrainian president said, "The overwhelming majority of law enforcement bodies in the east are incapable of fulfilling their duty to defend our citizens."

After taking the government building, separatists moved on to the television center, regional prosecutor's office and small town hall.

Much of the eastern Ukrainian takeover has featured little bloodshed, but on Monday the mayor of Kharkiv, Hennady Kernes, was shot in the back while riding his bike.

His office release a statement noting that he was out of surgery later in the day and was in "grave but stable" condition. It isn't yet known which side took a shot at him, as both sides have gripes against Kernes.

Pro-Ukrainian activists were also set upon by separatists armed with bats on Monday while police stood by and watched. Military observers also got kidnapped over the weekend as militants look for bargaining chips.

 
 

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