VIDEO: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament After Pro-Russian Forces Seize Gov't Buildings
Lawmakers in Ukraine traded punches during a brawl that broke out during a parliament meeting. Tensions were high after pro-Russian activists seized government buildings in the East.
Masked, pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine have begun looting government offices in Donetsk, the largest and most influential city of Ukraine's industrialized eastern and southern provinces, in a move that could portend further fragmenting of the beleaguered nation.
According to the few independent media outlets remaining in the city, masked men on Monday night were seen carrying computer servers from the Donetsk Province government administration building. Earlier in the day, separatist leaders declared the creation of the Donetsk People's Republic. The so-called declaration of independence, which was broadcast via Internet, said that “the people of Donetsk People's Republic have an exclusive right to its land, subsoil, air space, water and other natural resources” and that the newly created republic has a right for an independent financial, economic and other policies.
“This is effective from the moment of its approval and serves as basis for approval of the Constitution of Donetsk People's Republic,” said the declaration, which said a referendum on approving the province's new status would be held no later than May 11.
According to the reporting by Fox News’ Greg Palkot, Russia warned that action taken by Russia against the activists could raise the risk of civil war.
In response, NATO said any intervention by Russia would be a "historic mistake."
At a Senate committee today, Secretary of State John Kerry said it’s clear Russian agents have been behind the unrest in the eastern region of Ukraine in the last 24 hours. He also said Russia is engaged in illegal, illegitimate efforts to destabilize Ukraine with paid operatives.