Creeping occupation: Russia’s missile boat, helicopters, armoured vehicles in Crimea (video, photos, live)

Unidentified people armed with Kalashnikov machine guns are patrolling Crimean airports, a Russian missile boat has blocked Ukrainian border guard ships, Berkut riot police are protecting the roads to Crimea.

(upd) Ukraine security sources say they have regained control of two airports amid claims Russian forces tried to seize them, reports.

‘Yanukovych’s press conference in Rostov-Na-Donu will start in an hour. Meanwhile, the parliament of Ukraine adopted a resolution (246 votes for) demanding from Russia to stop actions that bear the marks of infringement of the sovereignty of Ukraine and calling for the UK, U.S. and Russia to guarantee the Budapest memorandum (as we reported earlier) and hold consultations with Ukraine in order to ease the existing tension’, Euromaidan in English said on Facebook.

It is the Crimean MPs who asked armed people to come to the building of the Verkhovna Rada, MP Sergey Tsekov stated.

{movie}Unindentified armed persons enter Crimea parliament building.|right|15066{/movie}

A bill on the simplification of a procedure of granting the Russian citizenship to the citizens of Ukraine has been inroduced into the State Duma [Russia’s parliament].

{movie}Live from Crimea, Ukraine.|right|15062{/movie}

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian government to work on the subject of humanitarian aid to the residents of Crimea.

Eight Russian military helicopters have landed in Sevastopol, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People reports. It is rumoured that these helicopters might well have taken Viktor Yanukovych to Crimea.

{movie}Military helicopters in Crimea|right|15060{/movie}

A Russian missile boat has blocked Ukrainian border guards’ ships, Unian reports. Moreover, there are Russian marine infantry’s armoured personnel carriers in the streets of Sevastopol.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry: ‘It’s an armed invasion’

Armed people in military uniform without any insignia state that they are patrolling the airports of Simferopol and Sevastopol ‘to prevent fascism’.

The unindentified individuals have come to Crimea by trucks without number plates. Exercising perimeter monitoring of the buildings, these men have not entered waiting halls yet.

English subs:

{movie}Armed men patrolling Crimean airports (ENG subs)|right|15058{/movie}

‘We are here to ensure public peace. We don’t want radicals from Kyiv, from Ukraine to come here and make trouble,’ one of them said.

{movie}Unindentified people carrying machine guns in Simferopol.|right|15061{/movie}

Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s Minister of Interior, believes these people to be Russian soldiers and considers the current situation to be occupation and military intervention. Ukraine’s security police forces are not able to take a stand against well-armed militants, he said.

‘I consider what has happened to be an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms,’ Mr Avakov said on his Facebook page.

Russia has nothing in common with the development in Crimea and guarantees the territorial integrity of Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State John Carry.

After the violent clashes and the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych in Kyiv, the focus of the Ukraine crisis has now moved to Crimea, which traditionally leans towards Russia.

On Thursday morning dozens of armed people who identified themselves as ‘self-defense forces of Russian-speaking population’ seized the buildings of Crimea’s Verkhovna Rada [parliament] and the Cabinet of Ministers and hoisted a Russian flag on the roof. The Crimean parliament later announced it would hold a referendum on expanding the region’s autonomy on 25 May.

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