'We are preparing to defend ourselves'

Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations on Sunday said the country was preparing to defend itself against Russia, blasting the movement of Russian troops as an "act of aggression" and asking for international help.

"We are to demonstrate that we have our own capacity to protect ourselves as it was decided to today in parliament," Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said. "We are preparing to defend ourselves... naturally we'll ask for military support and other kinds of support."

Russia is amassing troops in the Crimean Peninsula in southern Ukraine as a response to the overthrow of a pro-Russian Ukrainian government. Ukraine's prime minister has asked for international help and many countries in the West including the United States, have condemned Russia's actions. But those western countries have indicated they're unlikely to get militarily involved to help Ukraine, moving first to boycott the upcoming G8 summit in Russia.

On the eve of the start of Lent in the Russian Orthodox church, Sergeyev issued a plea toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"If he is a Christian, if he demonstrates his Christianity, instead of preparing to kill us he should pray for us," he said.