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Pro-Russian demonstrators storm building in Luhansk, Ukraine

Video by the Associated Press

Around 150 pro-Russian demonstrators broke into and seized the regional administration building Tuesday in Luhansk, Ukraine.

The activists, some wearing masks and others carrying metal bars and baseball bats, emerged from a crowd of 3,000 protesters arguing for more powers for Ukraine’s regions. Once the building was seized, the activists broke windows and placed Russian flags atop the building. Local police offered no resistance.

“The local police did nothing,” said Stanislav Rechynsky, aide to Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. Interim President Olexander Turchynov also criticized police inaction as “criminal treachery,” the BBC reports.

Luhansk, located 15 miles from the Russian border, is one of the larger cities in Ukraine and home to more than 450,000 people.

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