Nightly News   |  March 01, 2014

Russia’s Control of Crimea Raises International Tensions

Some worry about an imminent Russian takeover after troops enter the region.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> major developments in the crisis in ukraine which tonight is quickly developing into a testy showdown between the u.s. and russia . within the last few hours, president obama and russia 's president putin spoke about the crisis by telephone hours after the russian parliament gave putin the okay to send troops into the ukraine . tonight the white house is warning the kremlin against what it calls the continuing violation of law. earlier the security team met to discuss u.s. options in a rare saturday session. while in ukraine itself there were growing signs that russia has already taken control over the crimea region. we have coverage today with bill neely in crimea . good evening, bill.

>> reporter: yes, the crisis here in crimea is deepening, lester, so too, are worries about an imminent russian takeover. ukraine is certainly worried. the russian president has been put on alert. russian boots on the ground in ukraine . they're hiding their identities, their units are not marked. they are there to protect russia 's interest. they have a naval base manned by thousands but many are now off base and in the streets right behind the russian speaking majority here, and there may be more, many more on the way. russia 's parliament voted to approve the use of a russian force in ukraine . president putin asked for it, he got it unanimously. he called the situation in ukraine extraordinary with russian lives under threat. not long after the vote in the biggest pro-russian city in ukraine , chaos. dozens were injured as police battled crowds who raised the russian flag on the regional government building. these protests repeated in other cities in ukraine , east where many areas are now slipping out of the control of these men. ukraine 's new government, unelected, untested and in a crisis. we wouldn't give in to russian provocation, says the prime minister. exactly what he can do is not clear. he can't stop this. russia , they chant. on crimea 's streets they are excited russian troops are here. they want to see more.

>> to protect us.

>> reporter: you say the russian troops are here to protect you?

>> of course, we are russians. we are russians.

>> reporter: all eyes are on the military airport where russian planes, up to a dozen, delivered troops and equipment overnight. crimea , now tense, waiting to see if more, many more russian troops join these men. and tonight, a plea to president obama -- ukraine 's new government has asked the u.s., nato and europe for help to protect its territory. it sounds