Crimea has invited international military observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation to Sunday's referendum on joining Russia, Russia's official news agency Ria has reported, citing a Crimean official.
It said the invitation had been issued to the Vienna-based security and human rights organisation by the region's pro-Russian parliament.
Last week a group of OSCE observers were blocked from entering Crimea, with warning shots reportedly fired at the mission on the third day they attempted to enter the country.
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.