Anti-government demonstrators in a major eastern Ukraine city stormed and took over the regional prosecutor's office on Thursday as evidence mounts that authorities are losing control over swaths of the country. (May 1)
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Donetsk, Ukraine - May 1, 2014
1. Wide, Crowds of pro-Russians throwing rocks at riot police
2. Wide, riot police shielding themselves from rocks
3. Mid, zoom out of police in shields
4. Mid, Ukranian security services member raising hands in surrender through broken glass
5. Mid, pro-Russians speaking with service member, cut to injured pro-Russian being taken away
6. Wide, entrance blocked to Donetsk General Prosecutor's office
7. Tracking, pro-Russians storming inside prosecutor's office, cut to demonstrator smashing security camera
8. Mid, security services member taken out of building with pro-Russian demonstrators attacking
Anti-government demonstrators in a major eastern Ukraine city stormed and took over the regional prosecutor's office on Thursday as evidence mounts that authorities are losing control over swaths of the country.
A row of several dozen riot police standing guard at the regional prosecutor's office earlier fired stun grenades and tear gas when some at the front of the crowd of several hundred people attempted to force their way into the building in Donetsk.
As the confrontation escalated, some in the crowd threw rocks and managed to tear shields off the police.
Hundreds of onlookers accompanying the protesters, who included several crying children, shouted slogans and hurled abuse.
Upon occupying the building, protesters discarded the Ukrainian flag and replaced it with that of the Donetsk People's Republic - a movement that seeks either greater autonomy from the central government, or independence and possible annexation by Russia.
Ukrainian security service personnel who had been guarding the building evacuated into the courtyard at the rear where they were relieved of their shields, bullet proof vests and truncheons.
Some of them were attacked by the demonstrators whilst being led away.
The swift takeover of the building appears to lend weight to an admission by acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov this week that police and security forces were "helpless" to stifle unrest in the country's east.
Donetsk is the heartland of support for Russia-friendly former President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in February after months of protests in the capital.