Ukrainian border patrol plane under fire, tension mounts
Sunday, March 09, 2014 - 01:43
March 9 - Ukrainian border guards say a plane came under fire while flying near the border with Russian-occupied Crimea, as tension mounts with Russian forces tightening their grip on the peninsula. Jillian Kitchener
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Ukrainian authorities release video of what appears to show shots being fired at a Ukrainian border patrol plane.
Border guards say the plane came under fire on Sunday while flying near the administrative border with Russian-occupied Crimea.
A spokesman says three crew members were on an observation mission and that no one was hurt.
Russian forces tightened their grip on Crimea Sunday.
The conflict has been bloodless so far, but tensions are mounting.
Breakaway pro-Russian leaders in Crimea's parliament have decided to make the region a part of Russia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk says he's fighting for the country's unity:
(SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, ARSENY YATSENIUK, SAYING:
"This is our land, our parents and grandparents spilled their blood for this land. We will not give up a single centimeter of Ukrainian land. Let Russia and the Russian president know this."
Rival rallies continue throughout Ukraine: supporters of Russia and activists rallying for a unified Ukraine.
And train passengers arriving in the Crimean capital of Simferopol had their bags inspected by pro-Russian vigilantes.
Many Ukrainians ask, why is this necessary?
(SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SIMFEROPOL RESIDENT, NINA KOMISSARENKO, SAYING:
"I have arrived from Kiev, I haven't crossed the border, so why do they demand that I let them check my bag. And they cannot tell me what the reason for them doing this is."
Ukraine edges closer to a March 16 referendum, to officially declare Crimea a part of Russia.
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