Gunmen from Kiev attempted to seize Crimea’s Interior Ministry overnight – Russia

1 March 2014 — RT 

Unknown armed men from Kiev have tried to seize the Crimean Interior Ministry overnight, and there were several injuries in that attack, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Armed men patrol around the regional parliament building in the Crimean city of Simferopol March 1, 2014. U.S. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Armed men patrol around the regional parliament building in the Crimean city of Simferopol March 1, 2014. U.S. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

“Thanks to the decisive action of self-defense squads, the attempt to seize the building of the Interior Ministry was derailed. This attempt confirms the intention of prominent political circles in Kiev to destabilize the situation on the peninsula,” the statement added.

“We believe it is extremely irresponsible to further pressure the already tense situation in the Crimea,” the ministry stated stressing its concerns over the latest developments in the region.

Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil

Earlier, Crimea’s Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov declared that firearms have been used in the clashes in the region, Itar-Tass news agency reported.

He said he would temporarily manage all national security forces in the region, including police, emergency services and the Interior Ministry.

“All chiefs of staff should follow my orders. As for those who disagree, I ask them to leave the service,” Aksyonov said in an urgent statement to the region’s security forces.

Crimeans began protesting after the new self-proclaimed government in Kiev introduced a law abolishing the use of other languages in official circumstances in Ukraine. More than half the Crimean population are Russian and use only this language for their communication. The residents have announced they are going to hold a referendum on March 30 to determine the fate of the Ukrainian autonomous region.

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