People's Republic declared in Ukraine's Lugansk
Pro-Russian activists in the town of Lugansk in eastern Ukraine on Monday proclaimed "a people's republic," there and sent the authorities in Kiev an ultimatum.Source: Tanjug
They are seeking amnesty from the central Ukrainian government for all participants in the protest movement in the eastern parts of the country, the recognition of Russian as a state language, and the holding of a referendum on the issue of self-determination of regions, reports Voice of Russia.
If these demands are not met by April 29, the activists vowed to take "active steps".
In the town of Konstantinovka in the Donetsk region a group of unidentified attackers on Monday seized the local police station, and the city administration building. This is according to a spokesperson for the regional administration, who told Reuters that he "thought the demands were the usual ones: a referendum and a federal system of government."
In Kharkov, several thousand football fans who support the authorities in Kiev attacked about 300 anti-government protesters who were holding a rally. 14 people were injured during the violence, including two police officers. The police made no arrests.
Meanwhile, diplomats of the European Union will on Monday hold an emergency meeting on the worsening situation in Ukraine and about introducing new sanctions against Russia, it has been announced in Brussels.
The meeting was scheduled "because of growing tensions in Ukraine after pro-Russian rebels in the east of the country kidnapped international observers from the OSCE," said a statement.
EU officials will today try to agree on additional measures of sanctions, which will likely include freezing of assets and a ban on entry to the EU for an additional number of Russian officials.
European countries are working on introducing new sanctions against Russia in tandem with the United States and other members of G7 of the most developed world economies, who agreed during the weekend meeting in South Korea to impose new sanctions on Russia because of that country's "intervention in Ukraine."