Armored vehicles flying Russian flags have rolled into Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian militia already control the city’s government and administrative buildings.
It is believed the convoy is made up of troops from a Ukranian airborne division that have switched allegiance.
One unnamed soldier involved in the column elaborated: “These Ukranian paratroopers have switched to the people’s side. You can see how many of us there are, the self defence army of Donbas.”
The situation in the east of the country, the former heartland of ousted President Viktor Yanukovitch, is extremely tense.
Authorities in Kyiy and western allies claim tens of thousands of Russian troops are now massed along Ukraine’s border.
Many fear a Ukranian crackdown on pro-Moscow protesters will spark a full-scale Russian military intervention.