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Ukraine crisis: Russia 'demands two Ukrainian warships must surrender' amid 'biggest Europe crisis in 21st century'

In Pictures: Ukraine crisis escalates Close

Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

AP

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014

AP

Masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office in Donetsk (AP)

Masked pro-Russian activists leave the regional prosecutor's office in Donetsk (AP)

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings in the east over the past week, undermining the authority of the interim government in the capital, Kiev. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Armed pro-Russian activists occupy the police station carrying riot shields as people watch on, in the eastern Ukraine town of Slovyansk on Saturday, April 12, 2014. Pro-Moscow protesters have seized a number of government buildings in the east over the past week, undermining the authority of the interim government in the capital, Kiev. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

AP

A pro-Russian gunman warms himself next to a bonfire as he guards a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk (AP)

A pro-Russian gunman warms himself next to a bonfire as he guards a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk (AP)

Pro-Russian gunmen stand guard at a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. (AP)

Pro-Russian gunmen stand guard at a seized police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. (AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament's permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, and the commander of the Western Military District Anatoly Sidorov, right, walk upon arrival to watch military exercise near St.Petersburg, Russia, Monday, March 3, 2014. Putin has sought and quickly got the Russian parliament's permission to use the Russian military in Ukraine.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

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A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier is stationed behind the gate of a military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

A Ukrainian armored personnel carrier is stationed behind the gate of a military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

AP

Pro Russian soldiers wait outside a Ukrainian military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. The seizure of the terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch about 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat to Russia, comes as the U.S. and European governments try to figure out ways to halt and reverse the Russian incursion. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Pro Russian soldiers wait outside a Ukrainian military base in the port of Kerch, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops controlled a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Ukraine's Crimea region close to Russia on Monday, intensifying fears that Moscow will send even more troops into the strategic Black Sea region in its tense dispute with its Slavic neighbor. The seizure of the terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch about 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat to Russia, comes as the U.S. and European governments try to figure out ways to halt and reverse the Russian incursion. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

AP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

AP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, left, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pose for a photograph prior to their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops took over a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Crimea close to Russia on Monday, exacerbating fears that Moscow is planning to bring even more troops into this strategic Black Sea region. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, left, and British Foreign Secretary William Hague pose for a photograph prior to their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, Monday, March 3, 2014. Pro-Russian troops took over a ferry terminal on the easternmost tip of Crimea close to Russia on Monday, exacerbating fears that Moscow is planning to bring even more troops into this strategic Black Sea region. (AP Photo/Andrew Kravchenko, Pool)

AP

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers at the Belbek military base talk friends and family members through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base talks with family members, including his daughter, through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base talks with family members, including his daughter, through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Oleg, a Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base, kisses his girlfriend Svetlana through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea.   (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

LUBIMOVKA, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Oleg, a Ukrainian soldier at the Belbek military base, kisses his girlfriend Svetlana through the gates of the base entrance on March 3, 2014 in Lubimovka, Ukraine. Tensions at the base, where between 100 and 200 Ukrainian soldiers are stationed, are high as a 4pm deadline reportedly given by Russian troops for the Ukrainians to surrender passed and locals feared the Russians might attack tonight. Heavily-armed soldiers who are not displaying identifying insignia but are widely believed to be Russians have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03:  Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 03: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on the morning of March 3, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened down amidst turmoil between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to be Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers watch as a truck carrying a small number of Ukrainian soldiers departs outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. It was not immediately clear why the Ukrainian soldiers were leaving. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to be Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers watch as a truck carrying a small number of Ukrainian soldiers departs outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. It was not immediately clear why the Ukrainian soldiers were leaving. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  An unidentified soldier mans a machine gun on a military vehicle outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: An unidentified soldier mans a machine gun on a military vehicle outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside as Russian flag flies behind in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside as Russian flag flies behind in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A unit claiming to Cossack and other citizen pro-Russian volunteers arrive to take up position outside a Ukrainian miltary base where heavliy-armed unidentifed soldiers have surrounded Ukrainian soldiers inside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have blockaded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  Ukrainian soldiers stand inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: Ukrainian soldiers stand inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine

An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.   (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: An armed Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

PEREVALNE, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Ukrainian soldier stands inside the gate of a Ukrainian military base as unidentified heavily-armed soldiers stand outside in Crimea on March 3, 2014 in Perevalne, Ukraine. Scores of heavily-armed soldiers not displaying any idenifying insignia have taken up positions outside the base and parked several dozen vehicles, mostly trucks and patrol cars, nearby. Their commander has reportedly told the Ukrainian unit to hand over the base and come out without any weapons, though the Ukrainians have thus far refused. Soldiers have surrounded several Ukrainian military bases across Crimea in recent days as pro-Russian forces are cementing their seizure of authority in the peninsula. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A cleaning lady sweeps the courtyard of the Crimean Parliament building, which only days before had hostes barricades set up by pro-Russian militants, on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A cleaning lady sweeps the courtyard of the Crimean Parliament building, which only days before had hostes barricades set up by pro-Russian militants, on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Russian flag flies over the Crimean Parliament building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Russian flag flies over the Crimean Parliament building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  A Russian flag stands outside a local government building where pro-Russian militants and heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia stood guard on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: A Russian flag stands outside a local government building where pro-Russian militants and heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia stood guard on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  People leaving a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: People leaving a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03:  People entering a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

SIMFEROPOL, UKRAINE - MARCH 03: People entering a local government building walk past heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants outside the building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine. Police have removed roadblocks in the city center and access to the Crimean Parliament building is open again in signs that daily life is returning to a form of normalcy and that pro-Russian forces have cemented their control of the Crimean capital. Meanwhile world leaders have warned Russian President Vladimir Putin against further escalation that could spark war between Russia and Ukraine. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: A man holds a sign in a protest against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in front on the Russian Consulate against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in Times Square against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 2: People take part during a protest in Times Square against Russian military intervention in the Crimea region of Ukraine, on March 2, 2014, in New York City. Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back troops that spread out across the Crimean Peninsula today, one day after Russia's parliament approved to use military force in Ukraine. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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Pro-Russian activists use tires to make barricades in front of the city government headquarters in Makeyevka, about five kilometers (about 3 miles) from Donetsk, Ukraine, Sunday, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Alexander Ermochenko)

Russian forces controlling the strategic region of Crimea have demanded that the crew of two Ukrainian warships must surrender, according to Ukrainian sources.

Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman Maksim Prauta said four Russian navy ships were blocking Ukraine's anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol's harbour.

He said the Russians ordered the crew to surrender within the hour or face Russians storming and seizing the ships and crew.

The latest escalation comes as Foreign Secretary William Hague warned Russia that there will be "consequences" if it does not pull back in its confrontation over Ukraine.

Following talks in Kiev with interim Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Mr Hague said the world could not stand back and ignore the incursion by thousands of Russia troops into the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

"If Russia cannot be persuaded to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, there will have to be other consequences and other costs. I am not going to set out today what all of those are. We will act in a united way with other nations in the world," he said.

"Russia should be in no doubt about this. This is something that we take very seriously, that we have to take very seriously, because if this becomes the normal way of behaving in the world, of intruding upon and violating the sovereignty of neighbours, then clearly that would be an even bigger crisis in international affairs."

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

AP

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk shakes hands with Foreign Secretary William Hague in Kiev

His visit came amid intensive discussions among EU leaders over their response to the Russian action, while the G7 group of countries condemned Moscow's "clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine".

The G7 has suspended preparations for June's G8 summit in Sochi following the escalation of military action.

In London, Prime Minister David Cameron was due to chair a meeting of the National Security Council to consider Britain's response to the "grave situation" in the region.

Speaking earlier on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Hague said the situation represented "the biggest crisis in Europe in the 21st century".

He praised the Ukraine government for showing restraint despite the "provocation", and said he was "very concerned" about action by Russia in other parts of the country.

"Clearly we are very concerned about any possibility of a further move by Russia in other parts of Ukraine," he said.

"There are Ukrainian forces as well as Russian forces in Ukraine. There is a constant risk of miscalculation, of a flashpoint arising there (the Crimea) or in other parts of Ukraine."

The Moscow stock exchange fell about 10% in the first hour of trading this morning, before recovering slightly.The rouble fell to record lows against both the euro and the dollar.

Before his meeting with Ukrainian leaders, Mr Hague walked to Independence Square in Kiev, site of mass protests against ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, before speaking to people manning the barricades and laying flowers, joining growing floral tributes to those who have died in the protests.

The Earl of Wessex pulled out of the Winter Paralympics on the advice of the Government in light of Russia's decision to take military action in Ukraine.

Edward, who is patron of the British Paralympic Association, was due to attend the Sochi Games for three days this week but has cancelled, Buckingham Palace said last night.

Ministers will also boycott the Games, Downing Street said, but the Prime Minister remains "fully supportive of our Paralympic athletes' participation at Sochi".

Diplomatic pressure on Moscow is mounting following Russian president Vladimir Putin's decision to deploy troops to the former Soviet state.

Ukraine has put its military on high alert and appealed for international help to avoid what it fears is a possible wider invasion by Russia.

Russian forces have captured the Crimean Peninsula and there are concerns that it might seek to seize control of other parts of the country.

Mr Yatsenyuk said there was no reason for Russia to invade and warned that "we are on the brink of disaster".

The G7 - made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US - along with the president of the European Council and president of the European Commission, said Russia's actions in Ukraine "contravene" the principles and values of both the G7 and G8.

In their statement today, they called on Moscow to "address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations", offering to facilitate talks.

They said: "As such, we have decided for the time being to suspend our participation in activities associated with the preparation of the scheduled G8 Summit in Sochi in June, until the environment comes back where the G8 is able to have meaningful discussion."

Further reading

Belfast Telegraph


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