One of the men who called themselves members of local militia used makeshift road spike barriers to block a highway that connect Black Sea Crimea peninsula to mainland Ukraine at their checkpoint near the city of Armyansk, on February 28, 2014. The spiralling tensions in a nation torn between the West and Russia took today a severe new turn when Ukraine's interim president Oleksandr Turchynov accused Russian soldiers and local pro-Kremlin militia of staging raids on Crimea's main airport and another base on the southwest of the peninsula where pro-Moscow sentiments run high. AFP PHOTO / VIKTOR DRACHEV
Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's acting head of state, today accused Russia of "provoking a conflict" by backing the seizure of the Crimean parliament building and other government offices on the peninsula. Armed gunmen have also seized Crimea's telecommunication company and two airports, prompting numerous flight cancellations.