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The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) reported armed men and armored vehicles patrolling in central Luhansk, the capital of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic, a breakaway pro-Russian region in East Ukraine. The leader of the rebel territory declared the presence of the masked gunmen a coup.
The LNR’s rebel leader, Igor Plotnitsky, blamed disgruntled supporters of Igor Kornet, his chief of police whom he said he had fired on Monday, wrote Reuters.
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“The attempts by certain elements in the interior ministry in this way to challenge the decision …. (to remove Kornet) have gone beyond the bounds of what is acceptable…I can say with confidence that the attempts by certain persons to stay in power by destabilising the situation … are futile, and in the very near future will be neutralised.”
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The Ukrainian government responded to the situation, “The Ukrainian armed forces are ready for all developments to ensure the safety of civilians,” Poroshenko said in a statement, reported Reuters.