Police Station in Horlivka, Ukraine Captured by Pro-Russian Forces

Police Station in Horlivka, Ukraine Captured by Pro-Russian Forces

Pro-Russian forces took over a police station in Horlivka early Monday morning. It was at least the third police station and the latest of many government buildings captured by pro-Russians in the past three days.

Dozens of angry men hurled rocks, smashed the windows and broke into a police station in the city of Horlivka not far from the border with Russia, while hundreds of onlookers cheered them on. Thick white smoke rose from the entrance to the building, from which the insurgents hoisted the Russian flag.

On Sunday, interim President Oleksandr Turchynov warned the separatists Kyiv is launching an anti-terrorist operation against the pro-Russians in the east. He said he will give amnesty to those who surrender by Monday morning, but will punish anyone who does not comply. The warning did not stop these separatists and they still want to fight against Kyiv.

Oleksandr Sapunov, one of the men who took part in storming the police building in Horlivka, said the insurgents were fighting against appointees of the Kiev government, including the local police chief, and wanted to appoint a leadership of their own.

“The people came to tell him that he is a puppet of the Kiev junta and they won’t accept him,” Sapunov said.

Max Seddon of Buzzfeed, who is based in Ukraine, tweeted out this YouTube video where the leader of the siege claims he is a Russian army lieutenant.

However, Elena Chernenko at Kommersant said the man produced a Russian passport instead of udostoverenie.

Here are more tweets from journalists at the scene. Roland Oliphant of The Telegraph said the press should not go to Horlivka and he was leaving immediately.