Speed Reads

This is a big deal

Pro-Russia protesters take to the streets across Ukraine

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Thousands of pro-Russia protesters gathered outside government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, raising Russian flags and chanting, "Russia! Russia!," local media reported.

The violence suggests Ukraine's newly implemented government will struggle to gain support in areas of the country that are home to an ethnic Russian majority. In Crimea, which houses a Russian naval base, local leaders joined forces with Russian troops to take control of government buildings.

The protests are gaining traction in the wake of Russian parliament's approval this morning to send troops to Ukraine, at the request of President Vladimir Putin.