Pro-Moscow protesters seize arms, declare republic; Kiev fears invasion

KIEV/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) – Pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine seized arms in one city and declared a separatist republic in another, in moves Kiev described yesterday as part of a Russian-orchestrated plan to justify an invasion to dismember the country.

Kiev said the overnight seizure of public buildings in three cities in eastern Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking industrial heartland were a replay of events in Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula Moscow seized and annexed last month.

“An anti-Ukrainian plan is being put into operation … under which foreign troops will cross the border and seize the territory of the country,” Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said in public remarks to his cabinet. “We will not allow this.”

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