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Voluntary people’s guards 1,000-strong in East Ukraine’s Lugansk

January 28, 2014, 13:30 UTC+3 KIEV

Lugansk is not the first Ukrainian city to form such a group in connection with the continuing nationwide protests

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KIEV, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. More than 1,000 citizens of the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk have joined so-called voluntary people’s guards to maintain order and prevent "extremism manifestations", a statement from the local municipal authorities said on Tuesday.

A wave of anti-government protests erupted more than a week ago in the country’s capital, Kiev, and spread across Ukraine after parliament passed a set of laws on violations of public order. Protesters across the country stormed and seized a number of government buildings, including the City Hall and the Justice Ministry in Kiev.

“Considering the current public and political situation in the country and for purposes of maintaining public order in Lugansk, as well as preventing any extremism manifestations and provocations at major industrial enterprises in the city, it was decided to form voluntary people’s guards, which have already been joined by more than 1,000 Lugansk residents,” the statement said.

Lugansk Mayor Sergei Kravchenko heads the specially set-up headquarters to coordinate all the volunteers' activities.

Lugansk, with a population of some 465,000, is not the first Ukrainian city to form such a group in connection with the continuing nationwide protests. Guards were formed earlier in Ukraine’s fifth largest city, Donetsk, also located in the east of the country.

Voluntarily efforts to protect local industrial enterprises also come in the wake of the Ukrainian Security Service’s warning about an increased number of anonymous threats to blow up the country’s key energy facilities.

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