The Russia foreign ministry admitted the country moved their troops into Ukraine’s troubled Crimea peninsula. The autonomous republic within Ukraine identifies as Russian and has been fighting back since parliament ousted Viktor Yanukovych.
The Telegraph reports:
“The Ukrainian side was also passed a note regarding the movement of armoured vehicles of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Crimea, which is happening in full accordance with the foundation Russian-Ukrainian agreement on the Black Sea Fleet,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Friday afternoon.
In the same note the Russian foreign ministry said it had declined a Ukrainian request for “bilateral consultations” on events in Crimea because they are “the result of recent internal political processes in Ukraine.”
Moscow said it is for security reasons, but Ukraine warned them they must conform to previous agreements between the countries.
Late Thursday night, gunmen seized the Crimea airport, and witnesses said they wore the exact same gear as the men who took over government buildings in Simferopol earlier in the day. On Friday, 20 men wearing Russia’s Black Sea Fleet uniforms surrounded the Ukrainian border guard post in Sevastopol. One man told journalists they were there to prevent a riot similar to that in Kiev.
Crimea’s parliament dissolved their government and elected a pro-Russia chairman until they vote on May 25, if they want to remain the autonomous republic in Ukraine. That is the same day Ukraine holds their presidential elections. Over 58% of Crimea’s residents are ethnic Russians, and Russia leases many Navy ports in the peninsula.