KIEV, April 30 (RIA Novosti) – Supporters of federalization have taken control of the city council building and police department in the eastern Ukrainian city of Gorlovka, a local official told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
"The Gorlivka district council and central city police depatment were seized by armed men. There are about 20-30 people, they represent the People's Republic of Donetsk," a representative of the regional branch of the Interior Ministry said.
Gorlovka is a city of 250,000 in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine, just 37 kilometers from Donetsk.
Pro-federalization rallies have been spreading across southeastern Ukraine since a regime change in Kiev in February. Ukraine’s parliament has scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Protesters in Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine have been calling for referendums and the creation of independent people’s republics. The Donetsk region plans to hold such a referendum on May 11.
Moscow has repeatedly expressed doubts about the legitimacy of upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine, saying they violate international laws and urging Kiev to take into consideration the demands of all citizens in the country.