Ukraine warns pro-Russian separitists
Authorities say they are prepared to use force to clear buildings occupied by pro-Russian separatists in country’s east.
Ukrainian authorities have warned they are prepared to use force to clear several government buildings seized by proRussian separatists in the east of the country.
Wednesday’s warning came as protesters continued to occupy the headquarters of Ukraine’s Security Service in the eastern city of Luhansk. Hundreds of supporters camped outside and shouting “Putin! Putin!” in support of the Russian President, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Arsen Avakov, the Ukrainian interior minister, said the standoff in Luhansk and the two neighbouring Russianleaning regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv must be resolved within the next two days.
“I want to repeat that there are two options: political settlement through negotiations and the use of force,” Avakov told reporters. “We are ready for both options.”
Avakov was speaking as anti-government protesters in Luhansk erected high barricades along a thoroughfare running in front of the security service premises.
The Security Service had earlier said that the separatists inside the building, armed with explosives and other weapons, allowed 56 hostages to leave the building during the night. A spokeswoman said there were no other hostages.
But Tetyana Pohukay, a regional police spokeswoman, disputed that statement, saying there had never been any hostages inside, according to the Interfax news agency. The Luhansk security services building was among several government offices seized by pro-Moscow groups on Sunday in an escalation of protests against the interim government in power. Aljazeera