GENEVA (QHA) -

Russia has vowed its troops will remain in Ukraine to protect Russian interests and citizens until the political situation has been "normalised".

At UN human rights council session in Geneva Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was defending human rights against "ultra-nationalist threats", BBC reports.

Russia is now in de facto military control of the Crimea region, despite Western condemnation of a "violation of Ukraine's sovereignty".

Ukraine has ordered full mobilisation to counter the military intervention.

Two large Ukrainian military bases are surrounded, with Russian troops standing alongside local self-defence groups, who demand that the Ukrainian soldiers inside defect from Kiev to Crimea's new pro-Russia government.

The naval headquarters remains blockaded and key installations like airports are still occupied. Thousands of newly-arrived Russian elite troops far outnumber Ukraine's military presence here. Crimea has in effect been cut off by roadblocks, where vehicles are being denied access to the peninsula.

QHA