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Russia without Ukraine is a country;
Russia with Ukraine is an empire.

During the Great War, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Lenin took it back
During the Great Pariotic War, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Stalin took it back
During the Winter Olympiad, Germany grabbed Ukraine
and Putin let it slip away

Ukraine - Crisis - 28 February 2014

"We want to build a new Ukraine where there would be no blatnye [chosen ones]."

2014 Crisis Russian forces had taken control of the two main airports in the southern region of Crimea, Ukraine's interior minister said. Ukraine's border guard service also said that more than 10 Russian military helicopters flew into Ukrainian airspace over Crimea. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov described the development as a "military invasion". He said armed Russian troops blocked the Belbek airport in Sevastopol, where Russia has a naval base, and were also patrolling the international airport in Simferopol, the Crimean capital. In the middle of the night at least three KamAZ trucks without license plates drove to the airport with about 50 men. The self-defense squads that raided Simferopol International Airport during the night left the airport terminal, but were still patrolling the grounds outside. Airport security said the squads are helping to ensure safety.

Acting Ukrainian President Turchyno warned that any movement of Russian forces outside their base in the region would be considered "military aggression." Ukraine's parliament urged Russia to to respect its territorial integrity. Crimean PM Sergey Aksyonov says he has situation at both the Simferopol and Sevastopol airports under control. The situation is difficult, but its under control, so we urge everyone to stay calm, Aksyonov told Life-News. Theres no threat to anybodys security. Negotiations are underway.

Crimea cannot be denied the right to hold a referendum on self-determination, head of the Russian State Duma international affairs committee Alexei Pushkov told reporters. If Crimea holds a referendum, this will be an absolutely legislative and legally binding base for changing its status, if the majority of the population votes for this, he said. Pushkov said such a referendum would be a more legal form for changing Crimeas status than spontaneous Maidan in Kiev.

Putin broke his week-long silence on the crisis, releasing a statement ordering his government to work with Ukrainian and foreign partners to find a financial package to protect Ukraine's collapsing finances. Russian President Vladimir Putin said there must be no further escalation of violence in Ukraine in phone calls with the leaders of Britain and Germany and the president of the European Counci. "The latest developments in the crisis in Ukraine were discussed substantively. It was emphasized that it is extremely important not to allow a further escalation of violence and normalize the situation as soon as possible," the Russian presidential press service said. "It has been agreed to continue personal contacts on the matter and intensify interaction through foreign policy agencies," it said.

"The Russian side once again emphasized the urgent need for returning the situation in Kiev to a legal framework and implementing the February 21 agreement, including primarily the curbing of radical extremists' actions and the promotion of a national accord based on the real consideration of interests of all political forces and all regions of Ukraine," the Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow urged NATO to refrain from provocative statements on Ukraine and respect its non-bloc status after a chorus of Western politicians said Russia should be transparent about its military drills and avoid any steps that could be misunderstood. The Russian Foreign Ministry said When NATO starts giving a consideration the situation in Ukraine, it sends out the wrong signal.

The White House on 28 February 2014 urged Russia to respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine, while Russia's president stressed to European leaders the need to "normalize" the situation there. White House spokesman Jay Carney said reports of Russian intervention in the southern Ukrainian region of Crimea are of "deep concern" to the United States, and he reiterated comments made by other U.S. officials that intervention in Ukraine would be a "grave mistake." Carney said Washington was seeking clarification of reports of Russian intervention in Crimea, where pro-Russian gunmen seized government buildings.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the crisis via telephone. Kerry told Lavrov it was important not to inflame the already tense situation, while also calling on all parties in Ukraine to avoid any steps that could be misinterpreted. Lavrov, in turn, emphasized to Kerry the need to curb "extreme radicals'' and take into account the interests of all political forces and all Ukrainian regions when trying to end the crisis.

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Page last modified: 01-03-2014 17:04:13 ZULU