Crimean Parliament Announces Referendum on Independence
In Ukraine's autonomous Russian-majority region of Crimea, MPs have set up a referendum on its status.
According to the new proposal, it should be up to the Crimean population to decide whether to expand its autonomy and make choices upon its future, Russian agency ITAR-TASS has reported, citing parliamentary officials.
The decision was declared short after parliament and government headquarters in Crimea's capital Simferopol were seized by a pro-Russian faction on Thursday. Russian flags flew over the building and also over other institutions in the city, as the BBC reported. No government workers were allowed to enter their offices, and barricades were seen in front of the parliament.
The day before, tensions arose in the Crimean capital as parallel rallies of supporters, mostly Crimean Tatars and opposition to the new Ukrainian leadership, comprised by the Russian-speaking majority, led to scuffles outside Simferopol's parliament.
At a new rally that took place in Simferopol later on Thursday, Russian flags were waved, and chanting such as "We are Russia" could be heard across the streets. The centre of Simferopol was sealed off by police officers on Friday morning and afternoon.
Kiev's new leadership has pledged to keep Ukrainian territorial integrity and warned Russia against interference in its own domestic affairs.
Moscow, assuring it will not breach the sovereignty of Ukraine, has nevertheless put 150 000 combat troops on "high alert" at its Ukrainian border and has expressed readiness to react in case of violence.
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The foolish interference by CIA & EU in a sovereign country's internal affairs has fast-forwarded a process which should have been done long ago. Crimea will undoubtedly become free & independent after its May referendum.
Some Tatars & Cossacks in Crimea don't consider themselves Russian, but everybody else does, and everybody speaks Russian, and always will. It has nothing to do with Putin, Stalin, or Tsar Nicolas, for that matter.
Indeed you are Russophobe!!! Russia is a Third Rate country!! Are you really serious? The world is tired of the lies and bad games of western colonial neocons like you. Why cant the West first go back to the drawing board and solve all the economic troubles it is going through? At present, isnt the West the Third Rate you are talking about? I suppose even India's economy is much healthier than almost the whole of the West. Russia is a very strong country and not player like the West!! Ukraine is Russia's neighbour and has close historical and ethnic ties with Russia. Are there Americans in Ukraine? No, but there are Russians in Ukraine. The West had to think about carelessly supporting extremists on Russia's borders. I have not seen Russia cause trouble on any border of a Western Country, have you? Why cant you Westerners leave Russia alone?
This will not help the West at all and the decline of the West will only continue. Ehh, and soon Scotland will break away from the UK!! So leave Russia alone.
Russia is playing with fire. Putin's disgraceful approach of playing war-games and trying to sabotage events in Ukraine is very dangerous. If the Crimean stooges declare independence a full scale civil war could develop and let's see the pansy Europeans take care of that? The US taxpayer will have to foot the expense again for the the recklessness and abuse of the Russians and the weakness of the Europeans.
Russia doesn't understand that it is a third rate power nobody takes seriously anymore and yelling and screaming and sending a 50 year old frigate to Havana won't change that fact Pakistan also has nuclear weapons but does anyone take them seriously?...............