The Ukrainian government asked Russia to stop engaging in “provocative actions” in their country on Saturday, as armed, pro-Russia militants took over police and security services headquarters in Slaviansk, a town about 90 miles east from the border with Russia. At least 20 men wearing mismatched camouflage outfits and the orange and black ribbons commemorating the Soviet victory in WWII (which have recently been adopted by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine) seized hundreds of handguns in the area before ultimately taking control of the local SBU security service headquarters.
The most recent conflict comes days after armed pro-Russian militants took over Ukraine’s security agency headquarters in the Ukrainian town of Lugansk, demanding a referendum to join Russia. At that time, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov told reporters, “For those ready for dialogue, there will be a political solution. And for the fringe for whom the most important thing is conflict, they will be met with force,” according to the AFP.
Moscow has denied that it is supporting the militants, and says it has no plans to take over other regions in Ukraine as it did Crimea. However, President Vladimir Putin has said that Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine must be protected from any possible persecution by the new government in Kiev. Meanwhile, Avakov said he plans to be “very tough” on the “terrorists” who seized the government building in Slaviansk.