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Pro-Russians fortify barricade of gubernatorial building in Donetsk

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April 10, 2014, 8:48 p.m. | Photo — by Kostyantyn Chernichkin
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Taken on April 6, pro-Russian secessionists have barricaded the Donetsk Oblast Administration building. They have declared a People's Republic of Donetsk and want to hold a referendum on sovereignty by May 11. Authorities have so far not taken action to free the building.
© KostyantynChernichkin

Kostyantyn Chernichkin

DONETSK, Ukraine – Crowds still numbered in the hundreds on April 10 outside the Donetsk Oblast Administration building that pro-Russian separatists took over five days earlier. 

Inside the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk voted to establish ties with Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and international institutions like the United Nations as it tries to break away from Ukraine. 

It wants to conduct a local referendum to give the region sovereignty without a status quo option, as in Crimea whose vote and Russian annexation hasn't been internationally recognized and by Kyiv. 

Most of the protesters are 50 years or older, while inside the building, many of the masked occupiers are younger but from other cities like Mariupol, Kherson and Mykolayiv. Women are also inside the building. 

Authorities have yet to take action to retake the building and there have been conflicting reports revolving around reported negotiations, ultimatums, and compromises. 

Kyiv has offered amnesty if the separatists give up their weapons and leave the buildings. 

Editor’s Note: This article has been produced with support from the project www.mymedia.org.ua, financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, and implemented by a joint venture between NIRAS and BBC Media Action.The content in this article may not necessarily reflect the views of the Danish government, NIRAS and BBC Action Media.

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