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Source: http://news.yahoo.com/confusion-over-rival-claims-control-donetsk-185927751.html

Unfortunately for Taruta -- a billionaire oligarch appointed by Kiev to run the restive region following the ouster of pro-Kremlin president Viktor Yanukovych in February -- he was being forced to talk to journalists from a meeting room in a luxury hotel.

A five-minute walk away the rebels have turned what should be his office on the top floor of the region's barricaded administration building into the headquarters of their self-declared state.

I don't understand what this part means: a five-minute walk away the rebels have turned what....

migrated from english.stackexchange.com May 14 '14 at 11:59

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  • 'A five minute walk away' means: A short distance, equivalent to how far a person can normally walk in five minutes. – WS2 May 14 '14 at 7:34
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It means that not far away (five-minute walk away), they changed (turned into) what should be his office into the headquarters of their self-declared state.

A five-minute walk away the rebels have turned what should be his office on the top floor of the region's barricaded administration building into the headquarters of their self-declared state.

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The sentence is badly formed and punctuated. When a sentence starts with a phrase such as "A five-minute walk away," the phrase serves as a modifier further describing the word or word phrase immediately following the comma. In this case it seems to indicate that the rebels are a five-minute walk away. Doubtless the writer meant to say that it was Taruta's former office, now the headquarters of the rebels' self-declared state, that was a five-minute walk away.

The phrasal verb "turned into" is equivalent to the word "transformed."

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