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Pro-Russian protesters storm government building in Yanukovich's hometown

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - 00:56

Mar. 3 - Pro-Russian protesters storm and occupy the regional government building in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Yanukovich's hometown. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Pro-Russian demonstrators occupied the regional government building in east Ukraine's city of Donetsk on Monday (March 3), trying to push lawmakers to vote for a referendum that would declare the region sovereign. The chaotic scene in the heart of Ukraine's Russian-speaking east was one of the boldest actions yet by pro-Russian youths after several days of rallies in eastern and southern cities that Kiev says are organized by Moscow as a pretext to invade. The protesters stormed the building and reached the second floor where the regional council sits. Chanting "Russia!", hundreds of demonstrators managed to enter the building through a side door after getting through police lines outside. Barricaded inside the building, the local lawmakers voted 98-3 in favor of a declaration that pledged "support for the popular initiatives of the residents of the Donetsk region, put forward at demonstrations," according to the text of the resolution on the regional government website. However, the text fell shy of the protester's demands, which included that deputies declare the government in Kiev illegitimate. Many mostly Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine are angered by the dominance of Ukrainian-speaking westerners in the new authorities in Kiev and want greater autonomy, while others are wary of provocation by Moscow. Russian forces have already taken control of Ukraine's Crimea region, an isolated Black Sea peninsula, and Moscow has threatened to invade Ukraine to protect Russian speakers from what it says is a nationalist new government in Kiev. Donetsk was the home city of Viktor Yanukovich, the pro-Russian president who was toppled in Kiev 10 days ago. Most people in the region are ethnic Ukrainians who speak Russian as their first language.

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Pro-Russian protesters storm government building in Yanukovich's hometown

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 - 00:56