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upcoming Scottish referendum on independence -
James Bond star Sean Connery urged his fellow Scots to vote for independence in their referendum later this year, saying it was an opportunity "too good to miss".
The 83-year-old actor, one of the most high-profile backers of the Scottish National Party's campaign for a 'yes' vote in September, said independence would raise Scotland's profile.
"I fully respect the choice facing Scotland in September is a matter for the people who choose to work and live there -- that's only right," said the actor.
He added: "A Yes vote will capture the world's attention. There will be a renewed focus on our culture and politics, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to promote our heritage and creative excellence."
In a surprise move, Russian television even announced it was cancelling live footage of the Oscars show to concentrate on Ukraine coverage.
"Our propaganda on state channels is really running wild," commented former economy minister Andrei Nechayev on Twitter.
He said he feared violent reprisals for his revelations, alleging that the protest leaders in Kiev would "just put people in a cellar and kill them".
Named only as Vladislav, he was filmed being grilled by investigators after being caught in the Bryansk region bordering Ukraine.
A Russia 24 anchor added a warning that "mercenaries are now going to Crimea. Their aims are clear enough: to provoke a new wave of the crisis and rob people on the sly".
The same channel interviewed the governor of the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, Yevgeny Savchenko, who warned that "crowds of armed people" were on the move and on Saturday tried to block a highway to Crimea.
The unspecific but threatening reports seemed principally aimed at stirring fears.
The Channel One news item clearly shows the name of the border post as Shehyni on Ukraine's western border with Poland, as the news reader says that "more and more Ukrainians are arriving in southern regions of Russia."
It said on its website this was "due to the large amount of news concerning the situation in the autonomous republic of Crimea and Ukraine."
Top Russian lawmakers on Sunday reassured the public, stressing a mood of national unity backing Putin.
"The situation in Ukraine brings together all Russian civil society," said lawmaker Leonid Slutsky of the ruling United Russia party, who heads the lower house's committee on links with ex-Soviet states.
United Russia organised a march backing military intervention in central Moscow on Sunday, calling Ukraine's people a "brother" nation that "needs our protection and support".
Police said the march gathered around 20,000 people, who were shown on television waving Russian and nationalist flags.
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Posted by Julie on August 26, 2012 at 15:59