At a press conference on Tuesday, Ukraine's acting president Olexander Turchinov warned that the country faced a "serious threat" from separatism, especially from its southern, Russian-speaking regions. Turchinov also announced that the formation of a permanent government would be delayed until at least Thursday.
Monday night, the city council in the Crimean city of Sevastopol elected Aleksei Chaliy, a Russian citizen, as mayor as more than a thousand supporters gathered around city call, chanting "Russia, Russia, Russia" and "A Russian mayor for a Russian City." And earlier Monday, Sevastopol police chief Alexander Goncharov said his forces would refuse any "criminal orders" from Kiev.
A Sevastopol-based advisor to the government in Kiev described the move as a coup "represent[ing] the interests of the Kremlin."
Russian officials, however, have denied having any plans to explicitly intervene in Ukraine. Russia will continue its "policy of non-intervention," according to Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, who spoke to Reuters. "It is dangerous and counterproductive to try to force on Ukraine a choice according to the principle of either being with us or against us," he added.
[Image via AP]