Ukrainian base in Crimea surrounded by Russian troops
Armed Russian troops confronted a military base in Ukraine’s Crimea region Sunday in a standoff demanding the Ukranian soldiers lay down their weapons. Though no shots have been fired, it’s a move Ukraine’s new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is calling “a declaration of war.”
Yatsenyuk urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back his military on Sunday, stating that “we are on the brink of disaster,” but Putin has refused to pull back his troops.
Photos show people attending a rally against Russia in Kiev’s Independence square and local residents carrying Russian flags and shouting slogans rallying through the streets of Crimean capital Simferopol, Ukraine.
President Barack Obama spoke with Putin by telephone for 90 minutes on Saturday expressing “deep concern” about “Russia’s clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the White House.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia’s actions “threaten peace” across Europe and called on them to de-escalate tensions. “What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of the United Nations charter. It threatens peace and security in Europe,” Rasmussen told reporters on Sunday. He urged all parties involved to “continue all efforts to move away from this dangerous situation.”