Ukraine crisis: President Turchynov warns against 'military aggression' in Crimea

Warning comes as Ukraine parliament approves the formation of a national coalition government

Russia sent fighter jets to patrol the border with Ukraine today, as the interim president warned any movements of its troops from their Crimea naval base will be considered an act of "military aggression".

Meanwhile, a Russian news organisation said the country was providing shelter for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych in a Kremlin sanatorium just outside Moscow.

Ukrainian interim President Olexander Turchynov condemned the takeover of government and parliament buildings in Crimea as a "crime against the government of Ukraine" following a seizure by pro-Russian activists in the early hours of this morning.

He warned the military will use "all methods necessary" to protect citizens shortly before the Ukrainian parliament approved the formation of a national coalition government.

He said: "Unidentified people with automatic weapons, explosives and grenades have taken over the governmental buildings and the Parliament building in the autonomous region of Crimea.

 "I have given orders to the military to use all methods necessary to protect the citizens, punish the criminals, and to free the buildings."

His warning came as Arseny Yatsenyuk, who was approved as Ukraine's Prime Minister today, said the government would have to take "unpopular" decisions as the country "is on the brink of economic and political collapse".

The 39-year-old has previously served as the economy minister and foreign minister, and a speaker of parliament.

In a speech to parliament after his nomination, Mr Yatsenyuk charted a course towards the European Union and urged Russia to co-operate with Ukraine following Mr Yanukovych's removal from office.

Read more: Kerry warns Putin: 'This is not Rocky IV'

"There is no other way out for us than to take extremely unpopular decisions," he said to loud applause.

Crimea "has been and will be a part of Ukraine" but the country would not accept the secession of the southern Crimea region.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed it will dispatch a fact-finding team to Ukraine in the coming days in response to its request for support.

The IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, said they were discussing how to help Ukraine with its international partners after Ukraine's new finance minister, Oleksandr Shlapak, requested they send a mission.

"It will be a new programme. We will be asking for at least $15bn and then it will become clear," he was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Earlier, Mr Yanukovych allegedly asked for Russia's protection from "extremists" and declared himself still the legitimate leader of the country. The Ukrainian fugitive president is seeking refuge in a luxury health resort outside Moscow, the Russian news agency RBC has claimed.

Mr Yanukovych said many parts of Ukraine had been enveloped by an "orgy of extremism" and he and his closest aides had been threatened physically.

"I have to ask the Russian authorities to provide me with personal safety from the actions of extremists."

Russian news agencies say he will hold a news conference in southern Russia tomorrow.

Mr Yanukovych was ousted on Saturday after three months of unrest led by protesters in Kiev. He has since fled the area and is wanted by authorities over the violence that led to the deaths of more than 80 people during three days of bloody clashes.

A spokesman for Mr Putin said they were not aware of Mr Yanukovych's reported arrival in Moscow.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Support) - £29,000

£29000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst- (Customer Suppor...

Recruitment Genius: Laser Games Supervisor

£14500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: PPC Executive / Manager

£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A PPC Executive/Manager is requ...

Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WMS Operations

£55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager - Retail / FMCG / WM...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness