* Ukrainian border post surrounded by Russians
* Yanukovich says does not ask for military intervention
* Crimea should remain in Ukraine, he says
By Alissa de Carbonnel
BALAKLAVA, Ukraine, Feb 28 At least 20 men
wearing the uniform of Russia's Black Sea fleet and carrying
automatic rifles surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post on
Friday, in a tense standoff near the port city of Sevastopol in
Ukraine's Crimea region.
A Reuters reporter in the Balaklava district saw Ukrainian
border police in helmets and riot gear shut inside the border
post, with a metal gate pulled shut and metal riot shields
placed behind the windows as protection.
A servicemen who identified himself as an officer of the
Black Sea Fleet told Reuters: "We are here ... so as not to have
a repeat of the Maidan."
He was referring to Kiev's Independence Square, the cradle
of a popular uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovich.
The servicemen's presence appeared to confirm the veracity
of a statement by the Ukrainian border guard service that
Russian servicemen were blocking off a unit of Ukrainian border
guards in Balaklava.
Russia's Black Sea fleet has a base in Sevastopol but Moscow
denies its forces have been involved in the rapidly changing
events in Crimea, where armed men took control of two airports
earlier on Friday.
Russia says it has not violated an agreement on the movement
of its military in Crimea.
Yanukovich appeared at a news conference in Russia on Friday
but did not seek Russian military intervention in Ukraine
following his ouster last Saturday.
"I think any military action in this situation is
unacceptable," he said. "I have no plan to ask for military
He said Crimea, the only region in Ukraine with an ethnic
Russian majority, should remain part of the country.
Some ethnic Russians want Russia to reclaim Crimea, gifted
to then Soviet Ukraine in 1954 by Soviet Communist leader Nikita