(CNN) - Lawmakers in Ukraine's Crimea region are planning a public vote on its future.
Crimea is an autonomous region of Ukraine. The March 16th public referendum will ask whether Crimea should stay with Ukraine or join the Russian Federation. A majority of people in Crimea have a strong loyalty to Russia.
Tensions in the Ukraine are not limited to land. At sea, Russian navy ships assert their presence -- blockading Ukrainian military ships. Ukraine's defense ministry says an old Russian warship moved overnight to obstruct the entrance to this lake.
It has trapped up to seven Ukrainian vessels inside the inlet.