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You're reading: Under Russian flag, Kalashnikov-armed checkpoints come to Ukraine

The men wore an assortment of military uniforms, some had their faces covered with Balaklavas. Their only insignia were orange-and-black stripy St. George ribbons, a recognized military symbol in Russia that dates back to its empire days.

“Pull over and get out,” the men barked. There was no point in arguing with people so heavily armed.

On March 1, the Russian military had not yet cemented their control of Crimea. But by the morning of March 2, they had taken over, blocking access by air, road and train to everyone except those allowed inside or outside. And journalists were not on the list of people to be let through checkpoints.

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