Putin on Ukraine: threats from ultranationalists forced Me to intervene

Vladimir Putin has spoken to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and said that the “threat of violence from ultranationalists” forced him to intervene. In a sign of Putin’s reach, Ukraine’s head of navy has defected – and been charged with treason.

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20.06 From the Crimea, Roland Oliphant has sent this dispatch.

He’s looking at the “silent war” on the ground, compared to the loud propaganda in Moscow.

Crimea dispatch: ‘There will be no war. We’re not going to point our weapons’

19.35 Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary general, has given another press conference.

He says Nato urges the dispatch of international observers to Ukraine.

But diplomats said the alliance was unlikely to agree on major steps to rein Russia in.

19.25 From earlier today (see 11.35) we have video from David Rose, The Telegraph‘s videojournalist and photographer in Crimea, on the uneasy standoff between Ukrainian and Russia troops.

Here Roland Oliphant reports on the tense standoff that has developed as Russian troops surround a military base in Perevalnoe.

All the latest news from Ukraine here

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