Crimea conflict intensifies

©ARTUR SHVARTS/EPA/MAXPPP – epa04104903 An officer of the former Ukrainian riot police ‘Bercut’ shows his new Russian passport at Russian Consulate in Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine, 01 March 2014. The armed men, described by Interior Minister Arsen Avakov as Russian naval forces, took control at 28 February, of the airports in Simferopol and near the port of Sevastapol where the Russian Black Sea Fleet has a base. Russia ratcheted up the tension in the Ukraine crisis on 01 March with its upper house of parliament approving the use of armed forces in the Crimean peninsula, which is part of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the Federation Council to approve the use of armed forces in the Crimea, Interfax news agency reported, « until the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country. » Russian lawmakers had urged Putin to take measures to stabilize the situation in Crimea and protect the Russian-majority population. EPA/ARTUR SHVARTS (MaxPPP TagID: maxnewsfrthree011662.jpg) [Photo via MaxPPP]

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Crimea conflict intensifies