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Pro-Russia forces seize Ukrainian police station

Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Various sources are reporting that several dozen men took over a police station in eastern Ukraine this morning, raising a Russian flag and barricading the building:

Ukrainian police say the point of the takeover was the station's gun cache; Kiev claims the militants seized at least 400 handguns and 20 automatic weapons to distribute to pro-Russia protesters. A Reuters photographer on the scene, however, said he had not yet seen any guns distributed.

"(We have) only one demand — a referendum and joining Russia," a militant who gave his name as Sergei told The Associated Press. "We don’t want to be slaves of America and the West. We want to live with Russia."

While the militants appear to be Ukrainian, the headquarters takeover comes in the wake of a buildup of Russian troops along Ukraine's border, which Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains is part of a military training exercise.