A woman holds a placard during a small protest outside the Russian embassy in Kiev. Credit: Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the upper house of parliament to approve sending armed forces to Ukraine's Crimea region, the Kremlin said in a statement on Saturday.
"In connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of citizens of the Russian Federation, our compatriots, and the personnel of the armed forces of the Russian Federation on Ukrainian territory (in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) ... I submit a proposal on using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine until the normalization of the socio-political situation in the that country," the statement said.