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Pro-Russia militants expand control in several Ukrainian cities

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

In an eerily similar scenario to last month's Crimea takeover, masked, pro-Russia militants expanded their control in several cities across Ukraine today.

Gunmen took over police headquarters in Donetsk, a small northern city, and other militants attacked nearby government buildings. While the scope of today's action was much smaller than in Crimea, it involved simultaneous attacks and modern weapons, which officials say suggests a coordinated operation.

In Slavyansk, a city about 50 miles north of Donetsk, pro-Russia gunmen took over the police station and began constructing barricades around the city. Acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deschytsia called Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, demanding an end to the "provocative activity."

NATO estimates 40,000 Russian troops are stationed on their side of the border, near the affected Ukrainian cities. Moscow maintains its stance that those forces are merely conducting military exercises.

Below, images from today's takeovers in a country far from settled. --Sarah Eberspacher