The Ukrainian army has been put on a combat alert as the interim president says any Russia’s military intervention will lead to a war in the crisis-hit country.
Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov made the announcement on Saturday after meeting with the country’s security and defense chiefs.
Turchynov warned Russia against military intervention, saying such a move could lead to a war.
He also added that there was no justification for what he called Russian aggression.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said he had urged Russia, in a phone call with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to return its troops to their base in Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea.
Earlier in the day, the Russian parliament approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops into Crimea.
“The Duma Council adopted an appeal to the president of Russia, in which parliamentarians are calling on the president to take measures to stabilize the situation in Crimea and use all available means to protect the people of the Crimea from tyranny and violence,” Lower House Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said.
The developments came after Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov asked Putin to help restore peace and calm in the region.
The mission in Crimea is necessary to protect ethnic Russians, and the troops in the peninsula known as the Black Sea Fleet, Putin said.
Putin has yet to decide on the troop deployment. But reports emerging from the region show two Russian anti-submarine warships have appeared off the Ukraine coast.
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