Anti-government protesters have raised the flag of the self-proclaimed republic of Donetsk atop of the region’s Interior Ministry headquarters following clashes with security forces.
Clashes erupted between police and anti-Kiev protesters outside the Prosecutor’s Office in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Thursday.
Reports say over 100 riot police are defending the Prosecutor’s Office and are using stun grenades and tear gas against protesters who are unarmed and throwing stones.
Earlier on Thursday, anti- Kiev protesters raised the flag of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk after taking the regional Interior Ministry headquarters in the city.
The protesters are demanding the release of detained fellow protesters.
Over two thousand people have gathered outside the regional Interior Ministry headquarters, calling for a referendum on autonomy of Ukraine’s southeast.
On April 29, pro-Russian protesters seized the eastern city of Lugansk, one of the largest cities in Ukraine’s troubled east.
A day earlier, pro-Russian activists took control of the town of Kostyantynivka, after seizing its city hall and police headquarters.
On April 23, the Kiev government re-launched its controversial “anti-terrorist operations” in the eastern and southern regions in a bid to root out the pro-Russian demonstrations.
Pro-Russia protests gained momentum in Ukraine after Crimea declared independence from the former Soviet state and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.