Lavrov: Russian troops defend Russian citizens, human rights
As Russia tightened its grip on Crimea, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in Geneva Monday that Russian troops were needed in Ukraine to protect Russian citizens and their human rights – "until the normalization of the political situation.”
Reporters say Russian troops surround two large Ukrainian military bases, two airports and other key installations. Ukrainian border guards report a build-up of armored vehicles on the Russian side of the sea channel dividing Russia and Crimea. Pro-Russian troops have taken over the ferry terminal in far-eastern Crimea that operates services to Russia. There have also been further movements of Russian ships in the Black Sea – Sevastopol is the base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.