KAZAN (QHA) -

A delegation of lawmakers from Russia's Republic of Tatarstan has left for Crimea, RFE/RL reports.

Tatar parliament speaker Farit Mukhametshin said today that the delegation's task is to assist Crimean authorities to restore order on the peninsula, where he said "destructive forces are trying to disrupt interethnic concord."

The Tatar delegation travels to Crimea as a group of unknown armed men have taken over the Crimean parliament and government headquarters in Simferopol, raising Russian flags atop the buildings early this morning.

On February 26, thousands of Crimean Tatars scuffled with pro-Russian demonstrators outside the Crimean parliament, preventing lawmakers from holding an extraordinary session to debate the situation after the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Tatars in Russia's Tatarstan and Crimean Tatars share common historical roots, culture, Islamic background, and language.

QHA