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MOSCOW, March 13 (Reuters) - A senior Russian lawmaker strongly suggested on Wednesday that Moscow has sent troops to Ukraine's Crimea region to protect against any "armed aggression" by Ukrainian forces during a referendum on whether Crimea should secede and join Russia.
"There are some military units there that are occupying positions in case of armed aggression, armed expansion from Kiev ... This is not a large-scale military operation," pro-Kremlin lawmaker Leonid Slutsky told Ekho Moskvy radio.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have said armed men who have taken control of facilities in Crimea are local "self-defence" forces.