Ukrainian separatists stormed a Ukrainian Security Service building Sunday while brandishing firearms and explosives. During this seize, about 60 branch employees were believed to be held hostage as the protestors threatened their lives, said the Ukrainian Security Service in a statement in the Huffington Post Tuesday.
Although it is unclear who the hostages are or if they are security service employees, the Ukrainian Security Service or SBU is adamant that several dozen people occupied the building when the armed Pro-Russian group stormed the building.
The SBU told the RTE News that at least nine people were injured during the seizure and after which the separatists broke doors and windows throughout the building and raised the Russian flag.
“The anti-terror group of the security services of Ukraine (SBU) has established that the criminals have rigged the building with explosives… and are holding around 60 people, threatening them with weapons and explosives,” the SBU said in a statement.
“These actions are extremely dangerous and endanger the lives of people both inside and outside of the building,” the statement said. “They are using terrorist measures.”
Protesters have denied the use of deadly or threatening force and have also said they are not holding anyone against their will.
One of the protestors who described himself as a coordinator of the action told Reuters, “there are no explosives, no hostages. We do not need hostages to get what we want,” said Anton, who declined on the providing his last name.
A Reuters reporter also told the news site that people appeared to be moving freely in and out of the SBU building
The Luhansk building was one of three seized by protesters in the east of the country demanding a regional vote on independence from Kiev.
Early Tuesday, Ukrainian authorities regained control over a government building in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, removing the protesters and arresting dozens.
In Donetsk, a city 155 miles further south, protesters have taken control of the 11-story regional administration headquarters for their third straight day and have begun to declare their own parallel government.
Ukraine separatist have been a problem for the government since Sunday as government forces struggling to regain control of the country’s eastern regions.
The Huffington reported that all three cities are in Ukraine’s eastern region, where hostility is strong toward the interim government that took over power in February after ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.
The violent protest and hostile takeovers by Ukraine’s most rebellious citizens have government officials worried that these actions will undermine plans to hold a presidential election on May 25.
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