They removed the police station's sign and raised the flag of the Donetsk People's Republic over the building.
Police were able to retake control of the building, but the demonstrators regathered for a 'people's assembly' outside the building and called for a 'people's government', demanding either federalisation or incorporation into the Russian Federation.
Two referendums were announced, one on 11 May to determine whether the region should seek some form of autonomy, and a second scheduled for 18 May to determine whether the region should join the Russian Federation, or declare independence.
A representative of the Republic addressed locals outside the occupied police station, but was received negatively and booed.
Despite this, Ukrainian troops quickly withdrew from the city for unknown reasons, and the separatists quickly regained control.
Concurrent to the events in Donetsk, armed forces led by Russian operative Igor Girkin stormed and occupied government buildings in other regional centers beginning on 12 April.
Unrest in Luhansk Oblast began on 6 April, when approximately 1,000 activists seized and occupied the SBU building in the city of Luhansk, following similar occupations in the cities of Donetsk and Kharkiv.
The Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov, said on 9 April that the unrest in Donetsk Oblast would be resolved within forty-eight hours, either through negotiations or the use of force.
President Oleksandr Turchynov signed a decree to retake the Donetsk RSA building, and place it "under state protection," After capturing the broadcasting centre, the militants began to broadcast Russian television channels.
This article is about the armed conflict in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
For the concurrent Russian military intervention, see Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present).
For the unrest across Ukraine, see 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine.