Pro-Russian crowds have stormed and captured the regional government headquarters in the eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk.

Hundreds of people, led by approximately 20 youths bearing metal bars, took control of the building.

Activist chants of "Referendum Russia" were heard while unverified footage of a Russian flag being raised has emerged.

A crowd of 1,000 pro-Russian supporters gathered in front of the local governor's office before the group smashed the premises.

Video footage showed protesters holding shields walking around the foyer of the building.

Pro-Russian protesters had only previously captured the local security services' headquarters in Luhansk.

It is reported that police left the building peacefully.

The majority of Luhansk's population of 445,000 are Russian-speaking.

Follow a live stream of the building's capture here.

Eastern Ukraine has witnessed growing unrest with the attempted murder of Gennady Kernes, the mayor of Donetsk, and the capture of six observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a democracy watchdog, last week.

More to follow.