Washington - Senior Obama administration officials said they believe Russia now has complete operational control over Crimea in Ukraine and has more than 6 000 forces in the region.
The US was also watching for ethnic skirmishes in other areas of eastern Ukraine, where there is a large Russian-speaking population, though the officials said they had not yet seen Russian military moves elsewhere.
The officials were not authorised to publicly discuss the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
RT reports that Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea wants Kiev to stay out of its business according to the Crimean parliament speaker, Vladimir Konstantinov.
Konstantinov said Crimea was part of the ‘the Russian world’ and does not welcome Nato. And that despite its pro-Russia stance, the people of Crimea don’t have problems with Ukrainians.
He identified problems associated with ‘radical nationalists and neo-Nazis’ who played a big role in ousting Viktor Yanukovych.