DONETSK, Ukraine — At least a dozen armed men have seized a police station in a small town in eastern Ukraine as tensions in the country's Russian-speaking regions intensify.
The Ukrainian Interior Ministry said men in camouflage uniforms stormed a police station in Slovyansk early Saturday. The town is about 55 miles south of the regional center, Donetsk, where pro-Russian protesters have occupied a government building for nearly a week.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov pledged a "very tough response" to the seizure.
Video posted to a local website showed several armed men in balaclavas guarding the entrance to the police station.
Protesters who have held the administration building in Donetsk since Sunday initially called for a referendum on secession but later reduced the demand to a vote on autonomy within Ukraine.