Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr Turchynov said Saturday night that there is no basis for Russia’s “acts of aggression” and has given the order to put armed forces on combat alert. He accused Russia of trying to destabilize Ukraine and urged the pullback of Russian forces. Moscow said it hopes there will be no further escalation of events in Ukraine.
Britain has called emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Russian actions in Crimea.
In eastern Ukraine and Crimea, thousands of pro-Russian demonstrators protesting the new government in Kiev are clashing with pro-Kiev protesters. Gunshots have been reported. Protesters in Kharkov and Donetsk stormed local government offices and removed Ukrainian flags, replacing them with the Russian tricolor on Saturday. The City Council in the eastern city of Donetsk has refused to recognize Ukraine’s "self-imposed government" and called for a referendum on the region’s status. The council has made Russian alongside Ukrainian the official language in the region.