Anti-Maidan protesters still control key administrative buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk

The building of the Donetsk region's administration, which was occupied by anti-Maidan protesters on April 6, stayed under their control in the morning of Wednesday.

Donetsk

The building of the Donetsk region's administration, which was occupied by anti-Maidan protesters on April 6, stayed under their control in the morning of Wednesday.

An Interfax correspondent has reported that there are three lines of barricades made of cement and sand are located in front of the building. The metal Mertsalov Palm Monument, a symbol of Donetsk, is being used in the barricades.

Duct tape has been put between trees in front of the building.

Pro-Russian activists are blocking all entrances to the building.

The situation in the city is calm.

Representatives of the Donetsk Republic, which was declared two days ago, told Interfax they intend to discuss whether administration officials should be allowed to enter the building in a Wednesday meeting.

In the meantime, the public relations department of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's Main Department in the Donetsk region has denied the information that police officers have left the territory near the region's administration building. "This information is false. Officials from various police departments are still around the building of the Donetsk region's administration and will stay there until the administration is fully freed from the protesters who now occupy it," the police said in a report.

Luhansk

From 300 to 400 people are taking part in an anti-Maidan protest in Luhansk on Wednesday.

Over 1,000 people were in the building of the Ukrainian Security Service's department in the Luhansk region at night. The number of the people decreased in the early hours of Wednesday, but people started coming again at dawn.

The anti-Maidan activists waited for the police to storm the building all night. They are now reinforcing the barricades and are putting up additional defense lines. The protesters are saying they are having negotiations with the authorities, but are not giving up the demands they made earlier.

In the meantime, the police said the several dozen people who left the building earlier were not hostages.

Serhiy Tihipko, a presidential candidate, who has been expelled from the Party of Regions, came to meet with the protesters at night, but they refused to talk to him. Tihipko went inside the building, where the pro-Russian activists talked to him about their demands.

Tihipko later said in an interview with local Internet television that the demands are "quite reasonable." He also said he had not seen any hostages inside the occupied building.

An Interfax correspondent reported on Wednesday morning that no police except for the traffic police were to be seen in central Luhansk. The streets leading to the building are blocked, with the exception of Sovetska Street, on which the building is located.

On April 6, pro-Russian protesters stormed the building of the Ukrainian Security Service's department in the Luhansk region. The city prosecutors opened a criminal case. The police later reported that the protesters inside the building had weapons.

The Ukrainian Security Service has demanded the release of the hostages it says are being held in the building, the clearing of the building of mines, and the surrender of weapons. "The anti-terrorist group of the Ukrainian Security Service, which is working on freeing the administrative building of the Ukrainian Security Service occupied by members of a radical organization, has determined that the criminals have put mines in the building," the Ukrainian Security Service press center reported on April 8.

"Wielding weapons and explosives, the separatists are forcibly holding some sixty citizens, not letting the people leave the building and return home. That is, they are using methods used by terrorists," the press center reported.

The Ukrainian Security Service press center reported in the early hours of April 9 that 56 people without weapons had left the building.

All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

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