Pro-Russians Protest in Donetsk, Seize More Government Buildings

Pro-Russians Protest in Donetsk, Seize More Government Buildings

Pro-Russians protested and stormed more government buildings in Ukraine’s eastern city of Donetsk on the same day that Crimea voted to stay with Ukraine or join the Russian Federation.

For the second day in a row, protesters gathered in Lenin Square before moving to government buildings around the city. The protesters smashed windows, occupied buildings, removed Ukraine’s flag, and raised Russia’s flag. One policeman was injured when the protesters sprayed tear gas.

BuzzFeed’s Moscow correspondent Mike Giglio was once again on the scene and live tweeted the protest. He said there were more police on the scene Sunday than Saturday, but they could not contain the people. The crowd was smaller and did not have a clear plan for the day. Their first stop was the prosecutor’s office and courthouse.

The prosecutor emerged from the building and told the protesters he would work with their demands, but they decided to take over the building.

After they captured the building, Giglio said the protesters moved to Donetsk’s security headquarters, which is a building pro-Russians occupied twice in the past.

The majority of residents in Donetsk are ethnic Russians and claim the city rightfully belongs to Russia. Ukraine’s parliament ousted Russia-backed President Viktor Yanukovych on February 22, and Donetsk is one of many cities in the east that claim the new government is composed of fascists and neo-Nazis. Pro-Ukrainians attempted a peaceful rally in Lenin Square on March 13, but pro-Russians attacked and violence broke out; two people died, and eleven were sent to the hospital.