Photo Essay

  • Heavily-armed troops displaying no identifying insignia and who were mingling with local pro-Russian militants stand guard outside a local government building on March 3, 2014 in Simferopol, Ukraine.
  • A man stands next to flowers placed at a memorial for the people killed in clashes with the police at Kiev’s Independence Square, Ukraine, on March 3, 2014.
  • Ukrainian soldiers guard the entrance of a military base in the small Crimean city of Bakhchisaray on March 3, 2014.
  • Ukrainian servicemen walk after leaving the territory of their military unit as a vehicle, believed to be property of the Russian army, with a military personnel member, believed to be a Russian serviceman, on it follows them, in the village of Perevalnoye outside Simferopol March 3, 2014.
  • A woman draws a dove on a sheet bearing wishes for peace at the Independence square in central Kiev on March 3, 2014.
  • An armed man in military uniform walks outside the territory of a Ukrainian military unit in the village of Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol, Ukraine, March 2, 2014.
  • Anti-Yanukovych protesters sit inside a tent as they guard one of the entrance in Kiev’s Independence Square, the epicenter of the country’s current unrest, Ukraine, on March 2, 2014.
  • An unidentified soldier waits outside of a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalne, outside of Simferopol, Ukraine, March 2, 2014.
  • People hold Russian flags as they guard a statue of Soviet state founder Vladimir Lenin in the Crimean city of Simferopol, March 2, 2014 in Ukraine.
  • People attend a rally against Russia in Kiev’s Independence square on March 2, 2014. Ukraine said Sunday it would call up all military reservists.
  • People attend a rally against Russia in Kiev’s Independence square on March 2, 2014.
  • Ukrainian soldiers guard a gate of an infantry base in Privolnoye, Ukraine, Sunday, March 2, 2014. Hundreds of unidentified soldiers arrived outside Ukraine’s infantry base in Privolnoye in its Crimea region. The convoy includes at least 13 troop vehicles each containing 30 soldiers and four armored vehicles with mounted machine guns. The vehicles, which have Russian license plates,” have surrounded the base and are blocking Ukrainian soldiers from entering or leaving it.
  • A man holds a Soviet naval flag during a pro-Russian rally in Simferopol in the Crimea region on Ukraine, March 1, 2014.
  • Local residents carry Russian flags and shout slogans rallying through the streets of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine, March 1, 2014.
  • People look at unidentified men in military fatigues blocking a base of the Ukrainian frontier guard unit in Balaklava on March 1, 2014.
  • Anti-government protesters sing Ukraine’s national anthem in Kiev’s Independence Square, March 1, 2014, in Kiev, Ukraine.
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Ukrainian base in Crimea surrounded by Russian troops

Updated
By msnbc staff

Armed Russian troops confronted a military base in Ukraine’s Crimea region Sunday in a standoff demanding the Ukranian soldiers lay down their weapons. Though no shots have been fired, it’s a move Ukraine’s new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is calling “a declaration of war.”

Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back his military on Sunday, stating that “we are on the brink of disaster,” but Putin has refused to pull back his troops.

Photos show people attending a rally against Russia in Kiev’s Independence square and local residents carrying Russian flags and shouting slogans rallying through the streets of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine.

President Barack Obama spoke with Putin by telephone for 90 minutes on Saturday expressing “deep concern” about “Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the White House.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia’s actions “threaten peace” across Europe and called on them to de-escalate tensions. “What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe,” Rasmussen told reporters on Sunday. He urged all parties involved to “continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation.”