Pockets of violence were reported across Ukraine, as thousands of pro and anti-Russian protesters held rival rallies in the main cities of Crimea.
Clashes flared in Sebastopol, when pro-Russian activists and Cossacks attacked a group of Ukrainians.
Thousands gathered at Kiev's Independence Square to mark the 200 anniversary of the birth of a poet and national hero Taras Shevchenko, protesting against Russia's involvement in Crimea.
Eastern Ukraine's Babuchkas, older women who have worked hard to raise families, are said to be the real power in these parts of the world.
Ukranian military commander told ITV News the Russian men "have come to protect us. So why are their guns pointing towards our base?"
Fear is shaping events in Crimea, the multi-ethnic peninsula that finds itself at the heart of a tussle between great powers.