Yesterday, hundreds of protestors seized the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) regional headquarters in Luhansk and have now gained access to the building’s armory, effectively allowing the group to arm themselves as they see fit. As opposed to other building sieges in the Ukraine, it appears as if the protesters have no intention of leaving immediately but are digging themselves in with the intention of staying indefinitely.
A spokesperson for the group, who has chosen to give his name only as “Oleksiy,” did not tell the assembled press how many weapons the group has in their possession but that it was “enough to resist takeover of the building.”
In addition to the unknown numbers of separatists inside the building, various news sources are reporting that hundreds more are outside the building erecting barricades of tires and have also received a delivery of tons of bricks by truck.
A spokeswoman for the Luhansk regional Prosecutor-General’s Office, Maryna Bragina, said that “talks will be held in the near future,” and that “We are putting together a working group that will conduct the talks.”
The building in question is located a mere 25 kilometers from the Russian border where Russian troops are massed.
Ukraine: Hostages and explosives
While diplomacy is in its infancy, Ukrainian security services are expecting the worst and the possibility of an extended stand-off.
“The anti-terror group of the security services of Ukraine (SBU) .. has established that the criminals have rigged the building with explosives … and are holding around 60 people, threatening them with weapons and explosives,” the SBU said in a statement.
“These actions are extremely dangerous and endanger the lives of people both inside and outside of the building,” the statement said. “They are using terrorist measures.”
Protester denies report
Since the time of this writing, protesters in the building have denied that they are in possession of hostages and explosives.
“There are no explosives, no hostages. We do not need hostages to get what we want,” said Anton, one of the protesters who described himself as a coordinator of the action according to Reuters.