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Live Blog: Ukraine On The Brink


Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a news conference at his country residence of Novo-Ogaryova outside Moscow on March 4.

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Summary

-- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Kyiv as U.S. officials announced Washington is preparing a $1 billion aid package for Ukraine.

-- Speaking at a press conference at his residence, Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the change of government in Ukraine an "unconstitutional overthrow and an armed seizure of power."

-- Putin also said there are no considerations to annex Crimea and no intentions to provoke separatist sentiment. He said it is up to the citizens of Crimea to determine their own future.

-- In Crimea, there are standoffs between Russian and Ukrainian troops in their bases, with conflicting reports of ultimatums given to Ukrainian troops to surrender that come and pass.

-- Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has said that Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin requesting that he use the Russian military to restore law and order in his country.

-- In eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian demonstrators have occupied part of the regional government building in the city of Donetsk. Meanwhile, a few hundred pro-Russian activists tried but failed to force their way into the regional administration building in the southern city of Odesa.

NOTE: Live blog updates are listed according to local time in Kyiv

-- Glenn Kates / Luke Allnutt / Coilin O'Connor / Dan Wisniewski
12:58 18.2.2014
This is the Party of Regions building now, which is apparently back in the hands of government supporters. Earlier in the morning, protesters reportedly scaled the facade and entered through the first floor. Included among them, according to the "Kyiv Post," was Tetyana Chornovol -- the journalist who was brutally attacked late last year. Chornovol "entered the party building and gleefully threw documents outside."


13:00 18.2.2014
The scene on Hrushevskyy street.

13:04 18.2.2014
A crowd of protesters overwhelmed police on this truck. At least one similar truck has been set on fire today. It is not clear if this is the same one.

13:07 18.2.2014
13:09 18.2.2014
There have been several pictures posted from Kyiv today of what appear to be rubber or metal bullets that look like this.

13:23 18.2.2014
Video via RT of police being set alight by Molotov cocktails.

13:26 18.2.2014
Opposition leader Vitali Klitschko calls on Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to "solve this problem."

"I am appealing to the president of Ukraine, he bears all responsibility, he has all power in the country now. I am convinced that only he can solve this problem. That's why I'm appealing to him. As a responsible politician, as the president of Ukraine he should call early presidential and parliamentary elections. I'm convinced this will lower the temperature in the society. Do it and it will be a way out of the situation, this will be a brave decision. At the same time I'm urging the president to pull the riot police and interior forces back off the streets."
13:40 18.2.2014
According to our Ukrainian Service, riot police are throwing stun grenades from atop surrounding buildings.

14:02 18.2.2014
14:10 18.2.2014
According to our Ukrainian Service, protesters have "captured" several police officers during clashes on Shelkovichnaya and Instytutska streets. At least four were led away by the protest movement's "Self-Defense Forces" and taken towards Independence Square.

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