Armed pro-Russian servicemen stand guard at Chongar checkpoint blocking the entrance to Crimea on March 10, 2014. Russia vowed on March 10 to unveil its own solution to the Ukrainian crisis that would run counter to US efforts and would appear to leave room for Crimea to switch over to Kremlin rule. The unexpected announcement came as Ukraine's new pro-European leaders raced to rally Western support in the face of the seizure by Kremlin-backed forces of the strategic Black Sea peninsula and plans to hold a Sunday referendum on switching Crimea's allegiance from Kyiv to Moscow. AFP PHOTO/ ALISA BOROVIKOVA
As Russia’s stranglehold on Crimea tightens, mainland Ukraine still has several levers of influence to use.