Crimean Tatars hold a rally near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol February 26, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer
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One man died of a heart attack Wednesday and 20 were injured in fistfights as pro-Russian demonstrators brawled with supporters of Ukraine's new interim authorities in the capital of the Russophone Crimea peninsula Simferopol, the region's health ministry said.Three months of protests forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovytch to go into hiding over the weekend as his foes set up an interim government following violent clashes between protesters and police that left more than 80 people dead.In Crimea's regional capital of Simferopol, about 20,000 Muslim Tatars who rallied in support of the interim government clashed with a smaller pro-Russian rally. The order came a day after a Russian lawmaker visiting Crimea said Moscow would protect the region's Russian-speaking residents, raising concerns that Russia might make a military move into Ukraine.Russian officials denied any plans to move militarily on Ukraine."That scenario is impossible," said Valentina Matvienko, speaker of the upper chamber of Russia's parliament, known as the Federation Council. She is a close Putin ally and was born in western Ukraine.Shortly after, Yanukovych fled the capital for his powerbase in eastern Ukraine.
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