An Ukrainian child holds a banner during a rally to denounce Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and his military presence in Ukraine’s Crimea region, in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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Thousands took to the streets for rival pro- and anti-Kremlin rallies across Ukraine on Sunday as the West and Moscow dug in their heels over a deepening crisis in Crimea.Tensions in Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which has come under de facto control by Russian forces, have resulted in a new face-off between Russia and the West, with each side imposing sanctions or warning of further prohibitive measures to force the other to back down.Ukrainian border guards said Saturday that about 60 Russian military lorries had entered the rugged peninsula of two million in the last 24 hours by land and sea, a sign that Moscow was far from pulling back.They also said "Russian extremists" had attacked a Crimea radar post, in the latest move by pro-Russian forces who have surrounded Ukrainian military bases and taken at least one missile defence unit. Ukrainian Border Guards General Mykola Kovil said there were now 30,000 Russian soldiers in Crimea -- 5,000 more than the contingent allowed under a deal with Kiev on the Russian fleet.The 54 OSCE from 29 countries are a key part of a three-pronged diplomatic push by Obama that includes a call for Russia to pull its Crimean troops back to their barracks and Ukraine to hold early presidential polls in May.
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