Russian troops took over the strategic Crimean peninsula today without firing a shot.

The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react, and despite calls by U.S. President Barack Obama for Russia to pull back its forces, Western governments had few options to counter Russia's military moves. Correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, who is in the southern Ukraine town of Kherson says 'it was in the Black Sea region of Crimea - in Ukraine's extreme south where Russia really raised the stakes as its soldiers openly moved to take control.

Crimea is where the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet is based - it's a strategic and a military prize. So when the recently appointed Prime Minister of Crimea Serhiy Aksionov appealed to President Vladimir Putin to - in his words - 'assist in providing peace and calm' - Putin didn't hesitate.'