WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukraine loses control of Crimea: ITV News Europe Editor James Mates tweets: Russian occupation now open as troops take over policing duties in Simferopol, capital of autonomous region, guard regional parliament; armed seizure of city’s airport by 50 Russian naval commandos early Fri. apparently intended to secure facility for troop airlift later that day; unconfirmed reports of Russian landings at Feodosiya; roads, railways still open between Crimea, Ukrainian “hinterland,” but air and sea corridors “under Russian control”; newly installed Crimea PM appeals to Putin for help; Moscow: Kiev-backed “vigilante” group tried to storm interior ministry in Simferopol
March 1, 2014
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It is unacceptable when armored Russian military vehicles are out in the center of Ukrainian towns. We do not give in to provocative actions, we do not use force and we demand that Russia stop its provocative actions and return the troops to base.
— Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, statement made at government meeting in Kiev
Obviously, the situation in Ukraine is very fluid. War between Russia and Ukraine constitutes a major regional conflict, possibly going global and nuclear if NATO summons the courage to step in. Of course, Ukraine is not a member of that defensive alliance, which complicates Western involvement.
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On February 28, 2014, the following took place in Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region:
- Fifty gunmen wearing Russian Navy ensigns seize Simferopol airport
- More gunmen seize state TV network in regional capital, cut off phone/Internet service on peninsula
- Airspace closed to commercial traffic over Crimea, Turkish airliner turned back
- Russian military begins massive airlift of troops into Simferopol