The head of a dummy with the word Bandera - the legendary Ukrainian SS member- written in its forehead is seen in a barricade placed around the local government building in Horlivka, 43 km (30 miles) north east of Donetsk,Ukraine, Friday, April 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)
KIEV: Pro-Russian separatists seized control of state buildings in the town of Horlivka on Wednesday, tightening their grip on swathes of Ukraine's industrial east almost unopposed by police.
The separatists blockaded the region's police headquarters earlier in April, but took over the police division in town and the government administration on Wednesday, a police official told Reuters.
The town of almost 300,000 people sits just north of Donetsk, where mainly Russian-speaking separatists have declared a 'People's Republic' and plan a referendum on secession on May 11.
"They've taken them. The government administration and police," the police official in Donetsk said.
Towns and cities across Ukraine's Donbass coalfield - where giant steel smelters and heavy plants produce around a third of the country's industrial output - have slipped from the control of the pro-Western central government since April 6.
The armed uprising followed the overthrow of Moscow-backed President Viktor Yanukovich and Russia's annexation of Crimea, in a tug-of-war between the West and Russia over the ex-Soviet republic of some 45 million people, a vital transit route for Russian gas to Europe.
The operation in Horlivka follows the fall to separatists on Tuesday of provincial capital Luhansk, further east towards the Russian border.
Your feedback is important to us!
We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.
Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.
Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)
Riders from a Russian nationalist motorcycle group on Saturday began their run commemorating the Red Army's offensive...
KIEV: Ukraine, in a break with tradition that is certain to rile Moscow, is ditching the Soviet name for World War Two...
Russia has key interests in common with the United States and needs to work with it on a common agenda, Russian...
Poland on Friday said it had denied entry to a Russian biker gang backed by the Kremlin that plans to ride through...
Israeli forces shot dead a 17-year-old Palestinian in occupied East Jerusalem late-Friday, local media reported.
Police from seven European countries have detained 26 people in a crackdown on a horse meat trafficking ring, two...
Ukraine, locked in conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its east, draws up a new security doctrine denouncing...
FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE