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Ukraine Puts Forces on 'Highest' Combat Alert as Russia Moves In

 / Updated 
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, pictured at a news conference Friday in Kiev, said Saturday any Russian military action would mean war.Konstantin Chernichkin / Reuters

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Ukraine's acting national leaders appealed for calm Saturday even as they said they had put the country's armed forces on combat alert, insisting they wouldn't accept any military intervention from Russia.

In a televised show of unity with acting President Oleksander Turchynov, acting Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said he had asked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to order Russian troops to return to their base in the Russian-speaking region of Crimea.

Yatseniuk declared that Russian military action would inevitably lead to war and the end of relations with Moscow. He asked Ukrainians to remain calm and said he was working to find a political solution.

Turchynov, who earlier accused Russia of repeating the tactics it used before it went to war with Georgia in 2008, said security had been tightened at Ukraine's nuclear facilities and airports in preparation. Ukraine's armed forces had been put on "highest alert," he said, according to a translation by Reuters.

— M. Alex Johnson with Reuters

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, pictured at a news conference Friday in Kiev, said Saturday any Russian military action would mean war.Konstantin Chernichkin / Reuters

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