As it happened: Ukraine crisis

Key points

  • Crimean parliament asks to join Russia and plans referendum for 16 March on endorsing the move
  • EU and US leaders join Ukraine's government in condemning move "as illegal"
  • EU suspends visa and economic talks with Russia and threatens sanctions at emergency summit
  • US imposes visa restrictions on people who "threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine"
  • Pro-Russian forces remain in control of Crimea, where stand-off continues with Ukrainian troops blockaded in bases
  • All times GMT

Live text


  • Sarah Fowler 
  • Patrick Jackson 
  • Richard Irvine-Brown 
  • Lucy Fleming 
  • Alastair Lawson 

Last updated 6 March 2014


Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the crisis in Ukraine as the focus shifts towards an EU meeting in Brussels.


Speaking from Brussels, where EU leaders are to begin an emergency summit, the BBC's Matthew Price says there is "quite some disunity" among European states. He says Poland and many eastern European countries want a "firm line" including sanctions against Russia, while some including Germany want to focus on diplomacy to "bring down the tension".


Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says the government is discussing a new law to "simplify" procedures for Russian speakers to gain Russian citizenship, Reuters reports. This would apply to people who had lived in Russia or on territory that was once part of the Russian empire or the Soviet Union, the news agency says.


What is the right balance between moves to punish Russia and deter her from further aggression and those to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and encourage dialogue? The BBC's Nick Robinson has this analysis.


Could a war between Russia and Ukraine start not in Crimea but in the east of the country? The BBC's Paul Wood reports.


As the military stand-off continues in Ukraine, sailors from the Ukrainian navy, based in Sevastopol, are being prevented from leaving their ships. The BBC's Daniel Sandford reports.


Former EU advisor Robert Cooper tells the BBC sanctions against Russia would be a "two-edged sword" as trade benefits both Russia and the EU. "The most important thing the EU should now be doing is finding the right ways of supporting Ukraine," he says.


The BBC's Christian Fraser, in Sevastopol, says there is a "lower Russian presence this morning" at some Ukrainian military bases in Crimea. He says it appears some Russian troops have "returned to base", but it is "too early to draw any conclusions from that".


A Ukrainian sailor guards the Ukrainian Navy ship the Slavutych blocked in the bay of Sevastopol

A Ukrainian sailor guards the Ukrainian Navy ship the "Slavutych" blocked in the bay of Sevastopol