A man carries flowers as Interior Ministry members stand guard after recent clashes between pro-Russian supporters and riot police near the regional administration headquarters in Donetsk, March 7, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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President Vladimir Putin rebuffed a warning from U.S. President Barack Obama over Moscow's military intervention in Crimea, saying Friday that Russia could not ignore calls for help from Russian speakers in Ukraine.Putin's spokesman lashed out at the West and defended Russia's actions, but said he hoped "extremely deep disagreements" would not lead to a new Cold War.Putin denies the forces with no national insignia surrounding Ukrainian troops in their bases are under Moscow's command, although their vehicles have Russian military plates.The crisis over Crimea escalated Thursday when Crimea's parliament, dominated by ethnic Russians, voted to join Russia.Russia warned that it would retaliate against any sanctions.
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