Local ethnic Russian ‘self-defense squads’ have taken control of and raised Russian flags over the buildings of the Crimean parliament and government in the region’s capital, Simferopol.
Ukraine’s autonomous region is divided over the acceptance of new authorities in Kiev.
Thousands gathered in front of the parliament building on Wednesday with crowds split between those supporting the new government and those calling for integration with Russia. Two people died and over 30 were injured in clashes.
At around 4am local time, an unknown group of people barricaded themselves inside the buildings. According to local officials, those people might have been armed.
The men wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of the victory in World War II, according to AP. They placed a Russian flag on top of the Council of Ministers.
“We will swiftly inform Crimeans of the current developments today. Everything is under control, the negotiating process is under way,” Prime Minister of Crimea Anatoly Mogilyov told a local TV station… see more