April 7 - Pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine seized arms in one city and declared a separatist republic in another. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Pro-Moscow protesters in eastern Ukraine seized arms in one city and declared a separatist republic in another.
Kiev describes the moves 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 are a replay of events in Crimea.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his Russian counterpart that Washington is watching the events great concern. The two discussed meeting for talks.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague is also issuing a warning.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUE, SAYING:
"Anything that Russia may be doing to foment unrest in eastern Ukraine is now a very, very urgent and important matter. "
Nightfall brings little relief to the tensions.
Unlike in Crimea, where ethnic Russians form a majority, most people in the east and south are ethnically Ukrainian, although they speak Russian as a first language.
Eastern oligarchs who once backed President Viktor Yanukovich have thrown their weight behind the government in Kiev -- and the unrest there is a test of their ability to assert control.