A huge pro-Russia rally has been held in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, where thousands of residents carried Russian flags and shouted pro-Russia slogans.
On Saturday, more than 10,000 people carrying Russian flags stressed their allegiance to ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, and shouted their support for "the aspirations of Crimea to rejoin Russia."
"Russia! Russia!" they shouted, as leaflets were distributed on the sidelines of the rally calling on people "not to obey authorities in Kiev."
This city in eastern Ukraine is a stronghold of Yanukovych, who was ousted on February 22 and his entire government collapsed, after which a pro-Western cabinet was established with the support of the European powers and the US government.
Residents in Ukraine's pro-Russia east and south have been following up the developments in Kiev with concern. Pro-Russian demonstrations have also taken place in Kharkiv, Donetsk, Odessa and other towns.
Reports had it that Ukraine’s acting President Oleksander Turchinov has summoned his Security Council after Russian President Vladimir Putin was given parliamentary approval to deploy Russian forces to the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
The upper house of the Russian parliament unanimously approved President Putin’s request to use armed forces in defence of Russians and Russian interests, anywhere in the territory of Ukraine.