Separatism fears grow on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula

A statue of Lenin towers over a Russian Othodox church spire in Sevastopol. Credit: ITV News

ITV News Europe Editor James Mates reports from the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine's interim President Oleksander Turchinov has expressed concerns about signs of separatism as opposition to events in Kiev continues to grow from the country's Russian-speaking regions.

Sevastopol's city council handed power to Aleksei Chaliy, a Russian citizen, during an extraordinary session on Monday evening while protesters gathered on the city hall demanded a referendum on rejoining what they called "The Motherland".

The Russian Black Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, and it is widely believed that ousted President Victor Yanukovich is hiding somewhere on the sprawling Russian naval base.

Moscow continues to insist that it will not interfere in Ukraine, but historically the Crimean Peninsula has had strong links with Russia.

An armoured personnel carrier at the Russian navy headquarters in Sevastopol. Credit: Reuters

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