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Pro-Russian troops fire warning shots at Ukraine base they took over in Crimea

Ukraine Russia-1.jpg

Ukrainian navy corvette Ternopil is anchored at Ukrainian navy base in Sevastopol, Ukraine, early Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Russian troops said to be 16,000 strong tightened their stranglehold on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula Monday, openly defying the U.S. and the European Union and rattling world capitals and stock markets. (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov) (The Associated Press)

Pro-Russian troops who had taken control of an air base in the Crimea region fired warning shots into the air as around 300 Ukrainian soldiers, who previously manned the airfield, demanded their jobs back.

About a dozen Russian soldiers at the Belbek air base stood guarding the airfield and warned the Ukrainians on Tuesday, who were marching unarmed, not to approach. They fired several warning shots into the air and said they would shoot the Ukrainians if they continued to march toward them.

Ukraine has accused Russia of military invasion. Moscow, who does not recognize the authority of the new Ukrainian leadership, says it is protecting ethnic Russians living there.