WASHINGTON — A second Ukrainian provincial capital has been overrun by pro-Russia rebels, with the government buildings being stormed by armed militiamen. This happened as an American envoy warned of tens of thousands of Russian troops massing at the border.
Reuters reported that the province of Luhansk saw their government buildings stormed by hundreds of armed rebels, who also surrounded local police in a regional headquarters.
The American president, Barack Obama, has enacted another round of sanctions and targeted many allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The European Union, with several countries reliant on Russian gas and oil, acted similarly. The U.S. sanctions listed seven additional names from the first round of sanctions.
Luhansk, the easternmost province in Ukraine, had their government headquarters stormed and where the rebels hung their rebel flags outside the buildings. About 20 armed gunmen surrounded the police in a separate location, using stun grenades and automatic weapons. The prosecutor’s office and the television center were also occupied by rebels.
The occupation of Luhansk mirrors that of Donetsk, another eastern Ukrainian province. These provinces have been occupied and tensions escalating after the Russian invasion and occupation of the Crimean peninsula, which was condemned by the international world. However, sanctions did not affect Russia’s control of Crimea and now Ukraine is struggling to respond to the rebels’ aggression. They initially tried to beat back the pro-Russia rebels, stopped the operations, then attacked them again for a brief time before stopping operations again.