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Crimea Tatar leader wants autonomy after Russia's seizure of peninsula

BAKHCHISARAY, Crimea (Reuters) - The leader of Crimean Tatars proposed on Saturday that the 300,000-strong indigenous Muslim minority seek autonomy on the Black Sea peninsula annexed from Ukraine by Russia. Speaking to more than 200 delegates gathered for the top Crimean Tatars' assembly, Refat Chubarov said: "In the life of every nation there comes a time when it must make decisions that will determine its future."

Tatar minority to vote for autonomy in Crimea

Crimea's Tatars will on Saturday hold a vote on whether to push for self-rule in their historic homeland following its annexation by Russia. Ethnic Tatars from all over Crimea convened in the town of Bakhchisaray for an emergency Qurultai, or congress, to decide on the fate of the Muslim community of about 300,000 people on the Black Sea peninsula. "There comes a moment in the life of every people when a choice must be made that will determine its future," said Tatar leader Refat Chubarov.

Ukraine stripped of nearly all its warships in Crimea

Kiev, Mar 23 (EFE).- Ukraine has lost nearly all the warships it had in the Crimean Peninsula and the government on Sunday ordered the crew of the huge landing ship Konstantin Olshansky, which is under siege by Russian troops, to resist until the end. "The navy ships in Crimea have been taken. Despite the fact that commanders were given orders to use their arms, they did not use them to avoid bloodshed," Ukrainian Defense Minister Igor Teniuj said.

Shots fired as Russian troops force their way into Ukrainian base in Crimea

BELBEK AIRBASE, Crimea (Reuters) - Russian troops forced their way into a Ukrainian airbase in Crimea with armored vehicles, automatic fire and stun grenades on Saturday, injuring a Ukrainian serviceman and detaining the base's commander for talks. A Reuters reporter said armored vehicles smashed through one of walls of the compound and that he heard bursts of gunfire and grenades.

Factbox: EU imposes sanctions on 12 Russians, Ukrainians over Crimea

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union imposed sanctions on Friday on 12 Russians and Ukrainians over Moscow's takeover of the Ukrainian region of Crimea. The decision brings the number of people targeted by EU asset freezes and travel bans to 33. Following is the list of people added on Friday. Dmitry Rogozin, Russian deputy prime minister Sergei Glazyev, adviser to President Vladimir Putin Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament)

EU slaps sanctions on Russian, Ukrainian figures

The EU on Thursday slapped an asset freeze and travel ban on 12 more Russians and Ukrainians following Moscow's annexation of Crimea, bringing to 33 the number of figures targeted by the European bloc. French President Francois Hollande announced the measure after a meeting of European Union heads of state and government gathered to discuss the Ukraine crisis for the second time in less than two weeks. ccr/rmb

Town that withstood wartime siege shows the way in troubled Bosnia

By Daria Sito-Sucic GORAZDE, Bosnia (Reuters) - The people of Gorazde pride themselves on their resilience, forged during Bosnia's 1992-95 war. Gorazde survived while other Muslim Bosniak enclaves in the country's east, Srebrenica most notoriously, fell to separatist Serb forces. The exodus came later, during peacetime, when Gorazde was forgotten, a riverside town of bombed and idled factories where jobs were few and far between.

New age of discord as Putin rips up post-Soviet order

Russia is heading to a new era of confrontation with the West as President Vladimir Putin reasserts Kremlin power by tearing up the post-Soviet order that prevailed for over two decades, analysts say. On December 8, 1991 then Russian President Boris Yeltsin and the leaders of Ukraine and Belarus met at a remote dacha to sign the document that effectively dismembered the USSR into independent states.

Crimean Tatars bury 'tortured' protester

Several hundred Crimean Tatars turned out on Tuesday to bury a man reportedly abducted and tortured for protesting against the Russian annexation of the peninsula. Reshat Ametov, 38, went missing on March 3 and was found dead one day before Sunday's referendum in Crimea on joining Russia. His body was found in a forest about 20 kilometres (12 miles) from Simferopol, the regional capital. Community leaders have alleged that he was tortured to death after taking part in a protest against the referendum.

Putin speaks on Crimean accession into Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The following are excerpts from a speech by President Vladimir Putin to members of both houses of parliament, government members, business leaders and Crimean leaders in the Kremlin. He made the speech to mark the signing of a treaty to bring Crimea into Russia. CRIMEA
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