Ukraine crisis: Russia vetoes UN resolution declaring Crimea referendum invalid

China abstained from voting but 13 other nations voted in favour

Russia has vetoed a UN Secretary Council motion declaring the Crimea referendum, due to take place tomorrow, invalid.

China abstained from voting on the resolution while 13 other members of the council backed a resolution that called for all nations to respect the Ukraine’s territories and condemned the referendum as illegal.

Tomorrow’s referendum will see Ukrainians living in the southern region of Crimea decide whether it should be claimed by Moscow, or remain in the Ukraine.

France has said the next stage of sanctions against Russia will be on military co-operation.

Alongside this news, Reuters has reported that Ukraine’s military has scrambled aircraft and paratroops to confront Russian troops landing on a piece of land between Crimea and the mainland, according to defence officials, with the foreign ministry calling for their immediate withdrawal.

Two killed in Kharkiv shootout as tension rise ahead of vote

Ukraine’s defence ministry claims 80 military personnel have “seized” the village of Strilkove, in the Kherson region, with the support of four helicopter gunships and three armoured combat machines.

In a statement, the Ukraine Foreign Ministry declared the military invasion by Russia, stating it “demands the Russian side immediately withdraw its military forces from the territory of Ukraine”.

AFP reports that, in a statement from Moscow, Russia is “receiving many requests to protect peaceful citizens” in Ukraine, and that “these requests will be considered”.

Only this morning Ukraine’s acting interior minister confirmed two people had been killed and several injured in a shootout in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late on Friday evening.

Russian state news agency Itar Tass reported that the clash happened outside a building of the far-right Ukrainian nationalist group, Right Sector, and both sides have blamed each other for the violence.

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