16:54 27 February 2014
The crisis in Ukraine has intensified further after gunmen took control of Crimea government buildings. Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that the buildings were cordoned off to prevent bloodshed.
Avakov added that the seizure of the buildings was a work of “provocateurs.” In a statement, he said: "Measures have been taken to counter extremist actions and not allow the situation to escalate into an armed confrontation in the centre of the city.”
Meanwhile, the Russian flag has been raised over both the parliament and the regional government buildings in Simferopol.
Ukrainian interim president Olexander Turchynov has issued warning against Russia on any “military aggression” in Crimea. He said: "I would like to call on the leadership of the Russian Federation to respect the basic agreements on the Russian military presence in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”
President Vladimir Putin has ordered a snap drill on Wednesday to ensure that troops in central and western Russia are ‘ready for combat’.