April 13 - A day after armed militants seized government buildings in Ukraine's Slaviansk, residents call Kiev responsible for instability in the east. Nathan Frandino reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
As thick black smoke billows above Ukraine's Slaviansk, pro-Russian protesters are digging in.
They're building barricades outside the city as Kiev launches an operation to clear pro-Russian separatists from a police headquarters.
One Slaviansk resident is calling on Russia to protect them.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT MIKHAIL SAYING (AUDIO AS INCOMING):
"We are the residents of the town of Slaviansk, Donetsk region. The National Guard is coming here, there has already been a shootout this morning. We have nothing to hide (takes off his mask). here is my face. I want to ask "Comrade Putin, you've promised to protect us, please come here and protect us."
In town, residents line up to protect the seized police station.
They say their demands are simple.
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SLAVIANSK RESIDENT IRINA SAYING:
"Yes, we are against our authorities, but we do not want war. We just want to speak the language...it is our language, we don't want to be forced to speak Ukrainian. We need a referendum, we are for federalism."
Armed activists carrying automatic weapons seized the station Saturday.
As the activists stood guard Sunday, a military helicopter could be seen circling above.
Kiev has denounced the occupation as an act of aggression by Moscow.