UK & World News
Ukraine: '20 Killed' As Putin Lands In Crimea
More than 20 pro-Russian militants have reportedly been killed in eastern Ukraine as Vladimir Putin landed in Crimea for his first visit since Moscow annexed the peninsular.
Ukrainian troops used armoured vehicles and large-calibre weapons as they tried to take an occupied police HQ in the southeastern port city of Mariupol.
Sky's Katie Stallard, at the scene, said there is black smoke over the city and heavy fighting taking place.
She said there are reports between 20 and 30 people have been killed, and around 25 injured. But she said it was impossible to verify the numbers.
Ukraine's foreign ministry said about 20 "terrorists" were killed in the bloodshed and dozens more injured.
The police HQ - which is now in flames - was taken by pro-Russian gunmen on Thursday night.
It holds one of the largest armouries in the city, and separatists are using the weapons to defend their position.
The violence occurred as Mr Putin attended a military parade in Sevastopol to mark Soviet victory over the Nazis in World War Two.
Speaking at the military parade, Mr Putin said: "I am sure that 2014 will go into the annals of our whole country as the year when the nations living here firmly decided to be together with Russia, affirming fidelity to the historical truth and the memory of our ancestors."
His visit - just three days ahead of a controversial referendum in eastern Ukraine - was condemned as a "provocation" by Kiev.
The US also criticised the trip, with National Security Council spokeswoman Laura Magnuson saying it "will only serve to fuel tensions".
Mr Putin told the West to respect Russia's interests, including its right to self-determination.
Earlier, a similar Victory Day parade - marking 69 years since Nazi Germany surrendered its forces - took place in Moscow's Red Square.
About 11,000 servicemen took part in the annual event, which began with troops marching to the sound of brass bands as Mr Putin watched from the stands, flanked by veterans.
"This is a holiday when all-conquering patriotic force triumphs, when we all feel especially strongly what it means to be true to the Motherland and how important it is to be able to stand up for its interests," he told troops to shouts of "Hurrah!"
Some 150 military vehicles and 70 combat aircraft also took part in the show.
Pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine are pressing ahead with plans to hold referendums on Sunday, despite calls from the Kremlin to postpone them.
There are fears the vote in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk could spark further violence between Ukrainian troops and separatists.
Militants have seized government buildings in about a dozen cities in the east of the country.
Mr Putin wants the vote postponed so talks can take place with the Kiev government.
However, many in the east say the referendum is the only way to prevent war against what rebels and Moscow call the "fascist" politicians in the capital.