Crimea, Belbek, military base with soldiers
© Anastasia Vlasova
Russian diplomats have refused a request to order the pro-Russian "self-defence" forces that have taken over the Crimean peninsula to pull back in the first day of face-to-face talks with the US aimed at pulling Ukraine and Russia back from the brink of war. US and British diplomats also say they have failed to bring together Russia and Ukraine for talks in Paris over crisis
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