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Russian President Putin Sends Troops to Ukraine

Russian President Putin Sends Troops to Ukraine


Russia's upper house of parliament has approved President Putin's request for Russian forces to be used in Ukraine. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where many ethnic Russians live.

Kiev has reacted angrily to days of military movements in Crimea, accusing Moscow of trying to provoke the new government into an armed conflict. Interim Turchynov has called an emergency session of his security. The upper house went into a special session almost immediately after President Putin made the request, in what seems to have been a co-ordinated series of events to "stabilise" the situation in Crimea.

During the upper house debate, one legislator accused US President Barack Obama of crossing "a red line" with his comments that there would be costs if Russia intervened militarily in Ukraine. The request follow days of military activity in Crimea during which unidentified armed men moved in to take over the regional parliament, state television and telecommunications hubs. Soldiers from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, which is based in Crimea, are reported to be guarding some administrative buildings and military bases.

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