Kiev mobilized troops and called up military reservists Sunday as tensions at the border of Ukraine and Russia escalated, CNN reports.
By the end of Sunday, Russian troops had “complete operational control of the Crimean Peninsula,” a senior U.S. administration official told CNN. The Russian military action is being viewed by Ukraine as a declaration of war. “This is a red alert. This is not a threat. This is actually a declaration of war to my country,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.
In a post on his official Facebook page, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the recent ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych a "seizure of power."
"Such a state of order will be extremely unstable," Medvedev said. "It will end with the new revolution. With new blood."
NBC News reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained consent from the Kremlin-controlled parliament on Saturday to send the Russian military into Ukraine if he wishes, citing the need to protect Russian citizens and Russian-speakers in the neighboring state.
As Ukrainian and Russian currencies fell, Ukraine’s prime minister called for Western political and economic support. British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that Russian intervention in Crimea has produced “a very tense and dangerous situation” that amounts to Europe’s “biggest crisis” so far in the 21st century.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned what he called Russia’s “incredible act of aggression.” He and European foreign affairs leaders promised Sunday that there would be a strong response to Russia’s decision to “invade” Ukraine, as Kerry put it in an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”
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Publication Date: March 3, 2014.