Cossack men install a Russian flag and a Crimean flag on the roof of the City Hall building on 17 March 2014 in Bakhchysarai, Ukraine.
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Ukraine crisis: Politicians in Crimea head to Moscow

17 March 2014 Last updated at 23:54 GMT

The BBC's John Simpson reports from Simferopol on "day one of the new Crimea".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree recognising Crimea as a sovereign state, paving the way for it to be absorbed into Russia.

Crimea has been part of Ukraine since 1954, but much of its population is ethnic Russian.

Politicians, local authorities and civil servants have travelled to Crimea to "meet their new masters".