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Kiev and Moscow on collision course as pro-Russian insurgents seize another building

In Pictures: Ukraine crisis escalates Close

Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

AP

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014

AP

Masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office in Donetsk (AP)

Masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office in Donetsk (AP)

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings in the east over the past week, undermining the authority of the interim government in the capital, Kiev. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings in the east over the past week, undermining the authority of the interim government in the capital, Kiev. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

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A pro-Russian gunman warms himself next to a bonfire as he guards a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk (AP)

A pro-Russian gunman warms himself next to a bonfire as he guards a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk (AP)

Pro-Russian gunmen stand guard at a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. (AP)

Pro-Russian gunmen stand guard at a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament's permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament's permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

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A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier is stationed behind the gate of a military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier is stationed behind the gate of a military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

AP

Pro Russian soldiers wait outside a Ukrainian military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. The seizure of the terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch about 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat to Russia, comes as the U.S. and European governments try to figure out ways to halt and reverse the Russian incursion. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Pro Russian soldiers wait outside a Ukrainian military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. The seizure of the terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch about 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat to Russia, comes as the U.S. and European governments try to figure out ways to halt and reverse the Russian incursion. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

AP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

AP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, left, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pose for a photograph prior to their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops took over a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Crimea close to Russia on Monday, exacerbating fears that Moscow is planning to bring even more troops into this strategic Black Sea region. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, left, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pose for a photograph prior to their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops took over a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Crimea close to Russia on Monday, exacerbating fears that Moscow is planning to bring even more troops into this strategic Black Sea region. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

AP

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base talks with family members, including his daughter, through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base talks with family members, including his daughter, through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Oleg, a Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base, kisses his girlfriend Svetlana through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.   (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Oleg, a Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base, kisses his girlfriend Svetlana through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to be Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers watch as a truck carrying a small number of Ukrainian soldiers departs outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. It was not immediately clear why the Ukrainian soldiers were leaving. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to be Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers watch as a truck carrying a small number of Ukrainian soldiers departs outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. It was not immediately clear why the Ukrainian soldiers were leaving. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  An unidentified soldier mans a machine gun on a military vehicle outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: An unidentified soldier mans a machine gun on a military vehicle outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside as Russian flag flies behind in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside as Russian flag flies behind in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers stand inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers stand inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine

An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.   (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A cleaning lady sweeps the courtyard of the Crimean Parliament building, which only days before had hostes barricades set up by pro-Russian militants, on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A cleaning lady sweeps the courtyard of the Crimean Parliament building, which only days before had hostes barricades set up by pro-Russian militants, on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Russian flag flies over the Crimean Parliament building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Russian flag flies over the Crimean Parliament building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Russian flag stands outside a local government building where pro-Russian militants and heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia stood guard on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Russian flag stands outside a local government building where pro-Russian militants and heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia stood guard on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  People leaving a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: People leaving a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  People entering a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: People entering a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in Times Square against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in Times Square against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

Pro-Russian separatists have taken control of a police building in yet another city in Russian-leaning eastern Ukraine, defying government warnings that it was preparing to act against the insurgents.

Dozens of angry men hurled rocks, smashed 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.

Oleksandr Sapunov, one of the men who took part in storming the 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," Mr Sapunov said.

Acting deputy interior minister Mykola Velichkovych acknowledged that some police officers in eastern regions were switching to the side of the separatists and handing police stations over to the insurgents.

"In the east we have seen numerous acts of sabotage from the side of police," Mr Velichkovych told reporters.

The events in Horlivka were the latest sign of trouble in Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions, in which pro-Russian gunmen have seized a number of government buildings, demanding more autonomy from the central government and closer ties with Russia.

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Kiev authorities and Western officials have accused Moscow of instigating the protests, saying the events echoed those in Crimea, which was annexed by Russia last month. Ever since pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in late February, Russia has demanded constitutional reforms that would turn Ukraine into a loose federal state.

After staunchly refusing such demands, acting president Oleksandr Turchynov indicated on Monday that holding a nationwide referendum on the nation's status was a possibility and that such a vote could be conducted on May 25, along with presidential elections, the Interfax news agency reported.

Meanwhile, a deadline set by the Ukrainian government for pro-Russian gunmen to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine and surrender weapons passed early on Monday, with no immediate sign of any action to force the insurgents out.

Mr Turchynov had issued a decree on Sunday that those protesters who disarmed and vacated government offices in several cities in the Russian-leaning east of the country by 0600 GMT on Monday would not be prosecuted. Mr Turchynov vowed that a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" would take place to re-establish control over those areas and that the fate of the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia last month, will not be repeated.

There was no immediate comment from the government on the deadline passing.

But Serhiy Taruta, governor of the Donetsk region, where government buildings in several cities, including the regional capital Donetsk, have been seized by pro-Russian gunmen, said an anti-terrorist operation was under way in the region, according to the Interfax news agency.

Mr Taruta did not give any details of what the anti-terrorist operation would entail. The governor usually does not have authority to launch anti-terrorist measures on his own and he was most likely acting on the orders of top security officials in Kiev.

Mr Taruta said the anti-terrorism measures were aimed at "protecting the peace and order on our land, which today is being taken away from us by armed, aggressive fanatics cynically and cold-bloodedly", he was quoted as saying. "They are terrorists and we will not let them rule on our land." He did not provide any details of the operation.

The West has accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest. Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, claimed that the Kiev government was co-ordinating its actions with the CIA.

Russia has warned the Kiev government against using force against the protesters in the east and has threatened to cancel an international diplomatic conference on the Ukrainian conflict scheduled for later this week.

Pro-Moscow militia defies Ukrainian deadline to leave

A deadline set by the Ukrainian government for pro-Russian gunmen to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine and surrender weapons has passed with no immediate sign of any action to force the insurgents out.

Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov issued a decree yesterday that those protesters who disarmed and vacated government offices in several cities in the Russian-leaning east of the country by 0600 GMT today would not be prosecuted.

Mr Turchynov vowed that a "large-scale anti-terrorist operation" would take place to re-establish control over those areas and that the fate of the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Russia last month, will not be repeated.

There was no immediate comment from the government on the deadline passing.

But Serhiy Taruta, governor of the Donetsk region, where government buildings in several cities, including the regional capital Donetsk, have been seized by pro-Russian gunmen, said an anti-terrorist operation was under way in the region, according to the Interfax news agency.

Mr Taruta did not give any details of what the anti-terrorist operation would entail. The governor usually does not have authority to launch anti-terrorist measures on his own and he is likely to be acting on the orders of top security officials in Kiev.

He said the anti-terrorism measures were aimed at "protecting the peace and order on our land, which today is being taken away from us by armed, aggressive fanatics cynically and cold-bloodedly. They are terrorists and we will not let them rule on our land."

He did not provide any details of the operation.

The West has accused Moscow of fomenting the unrest. Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, claimed that the Kiev government was co-ordinating its actions with the CIA.

Russia has warned the Kiev government not to use force against the protesters in the east and has threatened to cancel an international diplomatic conference on the Ukrainian conflict scheduled for later this week.

ends

Belfast Telegraph