Peskov: Ukrainian troops must choose sides
18 March 2014 Last updated at 17:50 GMT
President Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told BBC HARDtalk Ukrainian soldiers remaining in Crimea need to make a choice - they could join the Crimean forces which would become part of the Russian army or "be free to leave the peninsula".
About 20,000 Ukrainian military personnel are thought to be in Crimea. Ukraine's military has said an officer has been killed in an attack on a base - the first such death since pro-Russia forces took control in February.
Mr Peskov said the pro-Russian Crimean forces were facing "provocations" from those wishing to cause conflict.
You can see the full interview on BBC World News at 18:30 and 22:30 GMT on Tuesday 18 March and at 04:30, 09:30 16:30 and 22:30 GMT on Wednesday 19 March and on the BBC News Channel on Tuesday 18 March at 20:30 and 00:30 and 04:30 GMT on Wednesday 19 March.