are already there." - Andrei Malgin, The Moscow Times
|Crimea is now an autonomous parliamentary republic within Ukraine.|
Andrei Malgin reports:
Demonstrators in Crimea have been toting signs reading "Putin is our president" and "Russia, we have been abandoned, take us back!" Late Sunday in the city of Kerch, someone took down the Ukrainian flag above the city administration building and hoisted the Russian flag in its place. At the same time, armored vehicles from the Russian military base in Sevastopol blocked all entrances to the city — essentially protecting it — after local authorities refused to recognize the new Ukrainian government. What's more, a throng of 20,000 demonstrators spontaneously appointed a local businessman and Russian national to head the city. He immediately announced his refusal to transfer local tax revenues to Kiev and claimed personal authority over the city's police force.