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Under Russian flag, Kalashnikov-armed checkpoints come to Ukraine

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March 2, 2014, 9:50 a.m. | Ukraine — by Katya Gorchinskaya

Armed masked men who call themselves members of Ukraine's disbanded elite Berkut riot police force stand at their checkpoint under a Russian flag on a highway that connect Black Sea Crimea peninsula to mainland Ukraine 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 DRACH
© AFP

Katya Gorchinskaya

Deputy Chief Editor

ARMYANSK, Ukraine -- On a road leading to the Crimean peninsula, a journalist woke up with a start. He was being stared at, through the window of the car he and his colleague from a TV station hired to drive to Crimea on March 1, by at least a half-dozen men armed with Kalashnikovs.

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