The Russian government confirmed it has deployed Marines and gunships to Sevastopol in Crimea. Troops deployments began over the weekend.
It also confirmed that a large landing ship, the Nikolay Filchenkov, from the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation, sent Marines based in Temryuk, Russia. The Filchenkov also delivered ten BTR-80 armored personnel carriers, according to the naval website.
The weekend airlifts using four Ilyushin Il-76 strategic aircraft out an airbase in near Moscow delivered personnel from the 45th Airborne Special Forces to Anapa on the Black Sea, according to the report. Six Soviet-designed medium twin-turbine MI-8 transport helicopters were also sent.
According to Ukraine Liveblog Russian officials have arrived in Sevastopol on the Crimea peninsula and are preparing to issue passports.
The following translation appeared earlier today on the blog:
Russian State Duma deputies have arrived in Simferopol. The delegation is headed by Leonid Slutsky, head of the committee on the CIS. Russians promise to simply the issuance of passports to Crimeans.
Report summarizing their statements from Oleg Kryuchkov of censor.net.ua:
Read more at Infowars (Seems Infowars have a scoop on this. no word of it yet in mainstream media and a mention on russdia Today which we don’t consider a reliable source for stories related to affairs in Russia.