Armed Russian soldiers have taken over two important airports in Crimea, Ukraine's acting interior minister has said, adding that the actions are an "armed invasion and occupation." The airports are in Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based, and in the Crimean capital of Simferopol.
The developments come just a day after gunmen seized government buildings in the region.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has ended his silence over the events in Ukraine, saying Russia will "continue contacts with partners in Kiev” and work with international bodies to offer financial help. Putin made no mention of deposed President Viktor Yanukovych, who has apparently received Russian protection, nor of the situation in Crimea.
The USD-UAH is -0.4% to 11.21 Ukrainian Hryvnia.
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Update: Russia has denied that its troops have seized Belbek Airport in Sevastopol.