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Pro-Russian troops tighten grip on Crimea despite US warnings

Published on Mar 1, 2014 10:42 AM

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AFP) - The new Ukrainian government will hold its first cabinet meeting on Saturday, amid fears of secession in restive Crimea where pro-Russian forces are tightening their grip despite US warnings.

Heavily armed troops in uniforms with no national insignia took up positions around government buildings and the airport in Simferopol on Friday, as Ukrainian officials accused Russia of "naked aggression".

In Washington, a US defence official said Moscow was thought to have already sent "several hundred" more troops into the Russian-speaking region, where it already has a major military base.

President Barack Obama, speaking in Washington, said: "We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine."

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