Ukraine crisis: Putin asks Russian parliament's permission for military intervention in Crimea

President said action is needed to protect 'lives of citizens of the Russian Federation'

The Ukrainian army are on “high alert” in Crimea after Russia allegedly moved 6,000 troops into the border region, taking control of airports and roads.

Ukraine’s Defence Minister, Ihor Tenyukh, gave the first estimate of numbers following silence from Russia over reports they were deploying troops in the area but did not give any further details.

The Russian parliament granted Vladimir Putin's request for permission to use the country's military in Ukraine on Saturday afternoon.

"In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory [in Crimea] ... I submit a proposal on using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the normalisation of the socio-political situation in the country," the statement said.

Earlier in the day, Russia's lower house of parliament asked Mr Putin to "take measures to stabilise the situation in Crimea and use all available means to protect the people of Crimea from tyranny and violence".

Crimean politician Sergei Aksyonov had earlier claimed he was in control of the area and declared that the armed forces, police, national security service and border guards will answer only to his orders. 

Mr Aksyonov, who is head of the main pro-Russian party on the peninsula, appealed to Russia "for assistance in guaranteeing peace and calmness on the territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea".

He was voted in by the Crimean parliament on Thursday after pro-Russia gunmen seized the building and as tensions soared over the region's resistance to the new authorities in Kiev following the removal of Viktor Yanukovych.

Border guard ships have reportedly left bases to prevent the capture of military bases and ships in the Crimea region.

The move comes after pro-Russian authorities in Crimea and Russia's Black Sea fleet agreed to gThe Ukrainian army are on “high alert” in Crimea after Russia allegedly moved 6,000 troops into the border region, taking control of airports and roads.uard buildings in the region together, according to Russia's RIA news agency.

The international airport at Simferopol, the main city, confirmed its airspace was closed on Saturday after armed men took control on Friday.

"Due to limitations in the use of the airspace, the airport has temporarily suspended receiving flights," the airport said in a written statement.

A soldier rests atop a Russian armored personnel carriers with a road sign reading A soldier rests atop a Russian armored personnel carriers with a road sign reading "Sevastopol - 32 kilometers" Ukrainian military sources say that Russian servicemen also control military airfields in Belbek, near Sevastopol, and in Kirovskoye in eastern Crimea.

The Prime Minister of Ukraine vowed that his country will not be drawn into war by Russian “provocations”.

Speaking on Saturday morning, Arseny Yatseniuk appealed to Mr Putin’s government to halt military movements in the border region.

“It is unacceptable when armoured Russian military vehicles are out in the centre of Ukrainian towns,” he said before a government meeting in Kiev.

Russia, which has a naval base in Crimea, insisted any movements by its military in Crimea are in line with agreements with Ukraine over its naval fleet.

The Russian foreign ministry accused Kiev politicians of trying to destabilise the situation on the peninsula.

"In Russia, we are extremely concerned about the recent developments in Crimea," a statement said.

"We believe it is extremely irresponsible to further pressure the already tense situation."

Read more: Ukraine vows to fight after Russia says yes to invasion
Moscow catches the world off guard
How far will president Putin go to keep his hands on Crimea?
Comment: No wonder Putin says Crimea is Russian
Cameron warns that ‘the world is watching’
Election monitors will be under extreme pressure
Editorial: We don’t want a war with Russia

Two airports in Crimea have been taken over by soldiers and armoured personnel carriers were seen on the roads as links through the area were shut off to the public.

The Crimean peninsula’s main port, Sevastopol, where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based, has also been blocked off.

Barack Obama warned Mr Putin that there “will be costs” for any military intervention in Ukraine but did not go into details.

 “We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine,” he added.

“Any violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilising, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe.

“It would present a profound interference in matters that must be decided by the Ukrainian people.”

The local administration in Crimea moved a referendum on whether the Autonomous State of Crimea should have even greater independence forward to 30 March.

It only became part of Ukraine in 1954 when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred jurisdiction from Russia, a move that was a mere formality when both Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union.

The Soviet breakup in 1991 meant Crimea landed in an independent Ukraine.

Additional reporting by Reuters

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on