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April 29, 2014 AT 8:35 AM
Protesters demanding more power for Ukraine's regions stormed the government building in Luhansk with baseball bats Tuesday, seizing control of a key site in one of the largest cities in Ukraine's troubled east. The move further raises tensions in the east, where insurgents have seized city halls, police stations and other government buildings in at least 10 cities and towns. The demonstrators who overran the building are seeking — at the very least — a referendum on granting greater authority to Ukraine's regions. Eastern Ukraine, which has a large Russian-speaking population, was the heartland of support for Viktor Yanukovych, the president who fled to Russia in February. The government that replaced him in Kiev has resisted those demands so far, fearing they could lead to a breakup of the country or mean that more regions — like Crimea — are annexed by Russia.