Representatives of the "self-defense of Maidan" took the building of the Russian embassy in Kiev under control, Ukrainian media say. The activists reportedly stand against the invasion of the Russian army in the Crimea.
Hundreds of Kiev residents picketed the Russian Embassy last week demanding to stop aggression on the territory of Ukraine.
Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held an operational meeting with members of the Russian Security Council. As president's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, the meeting discussed the situation in Ukraine, including the decision of the Supreme Council of the Crimea to join the Russian Federation.
On March 1, Crimea's new prime minister asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure peace in the country. The same day, the Federation Council approved the address from the Russian president to deploy a limited contingent of Russian troops in the Crimea in order to protect the population of the peninsula. A little later, press secretary Dmitry Peskov said that the president had not made the decision to deploy Russian troops in the Crimea. It was purely a prerogative of the president, Peskov said. Putin later said that he was not planning to deploy troops to Ukraine. In addition, he denied reports saying that Russian troops blocked a range of strategic facilities on the peninsula.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)