March 1, 2014
Ukraine’s Defence Minister says Moscow has sent 6,000 troops into the country, as it was confirmed Russian soldiers are on the streets in the southeastern region of Crimea.
The country’s military are on high alert and border guard vessels are being deployed amid the deepening crisis, with reports Russian forces are trying to seize control of an anti-aircraft missile base.
The pro-Moscow Prime Minister of Crimea Sergei Aksenov, who appealed to Russia for help in keeping the peace there, has confirmed service personnel from the Black Sea Fleet, which is based in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, were guarding key buildings.
And in an apparent orchestrated move, a referendum on whether residents in Crimea want greater independence from Ukraine has been brought forward by two months to March 30.