Russia's parliament approved a motion to use the country's military in Ukraine after a request from President Vladimir Putin as protests in Russian-speaking cities turned violent Saturday, sparking fears of a wide-scale invasion.
The motion follows President Barack Obama's warning Friday "there will be costs" if Russia intervenes militarily, sharply raising the stakes in the conflict over Ukraine's future and evoking memories of Cold War brinkmanship.
"I'm submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country," Putin said in his request sent to parliament.
Russia's upper house also recommended that Moscow recalls its ambassador from Washington over Obama's comments.
Ukraine had already accused Russia on Friday of a "military invasion and occupation'' in the strategic peninsula of Crimea where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.