Russian Flags And Fists Are Flying In Ukrainian Peninsula Of Crimea

Russia ukraineAP Photo/Andrew LubimovA Russian armoured personnel carrier is driven on a street in Sevastopol, Ukraine’s Black Sea Port.

Just as Kiev is calming down, protests are hitting the Ukrainian peninsula Crimea in the southern part of the country.

Thousands of pro-Russia protesters and ethnic Tatars, who support Ukraine’s new leadership, clashed near the regional parliament building before a debate on the political upheaval that led to the ousting of former President Viktor Yanukovych, Reuters reports.

A Russian flag has been raised outside the city council building after protesters tore down the Ukrainian flag, according to CBC.

Crimea is a pro-Russian region that was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. Part of Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based there.

Yanukovych fled Kiev this past weekend after months of protests in the capital of Kiev and a failed crackdown.

The country began to turn against the president after Russian-backed Yanukovych reneged on promises to sign onto free trade deals with the European Union, The New York Times reports. Protests turned violent after his supporters in parliament passed legislation that quashes political dissent.

The Associated Press has video of the crowd in Crimea:

People are tweeting from the scene of the protests:

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