Russian legislators vote unanimously to approve use of military force in Ukraine.
UPDATE: Russian parliament wants to recall ambassador in DC over Obama comment.
UPDATE: UN Security Council to meet on Ukraine at 2 p.m. Saturday
UPDATE: Russian minister: Parliament’s authorization of troops in Ukraine doesn’t mean immediate deployment.
UPDATE: Ukraine military bases have been sealed off by Russian forces in Crimea.
UPDATE: Sen. Corker: Congress To Consider Targeted Sanctions On Russia.
UPDATE: Ukraine’s Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov says military is on ‘highest alert’
UPDATE: Donetsk calls for referendum, votes to restore Russian’s official status.
UPDATE: Ukraine puts its forces on combat alert and warns Russia that any military intervention would lead to war.
UPDATE: Top officials at White House meeting on Ukraine.
UPDATE: Obama warns Russia on Ukraine.
UPDATE: Ran into Podesta leaving WH Asked whether Ukraine is a test for US Russian relations, he responded “that goes without saying.” -Jim Acosta CNN
UPDATE: Ukraine’s ambassador to the UN asks Security Council to “do everything possible” to stop Russian “aggression”.
UPDATE: Sec. of State Kerry calls Russia’s movements an “invasion and occupation of Ukrainian territory” - AliABCNews
UPDATE: Kremlin statement~> “Russia reserves right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers living in Ukraine.”
UPDATE: White House Confirms Obama Chose Not To Attend National Security Briefing On Ukraine/Russia Crisis.
UPDATE: In 90-Minute Phone Call, Obama Expresses ‘His Deep Concern’ over Violation of Ukrainian Sovereignty.
UPDATE: Barack Obama remarks on Ukraine…
UPDATE: Obama is using the OSCE to give Russia an exit strategy …if it wants one.
UPDATE: Canada pulls ambassador from Russia and pulls out of upcoming Group of Eight preparations.
UPDATE: David Cameron calls Putin over Ukraine.
UPDATE: US ‘Suspends’ Role in Russia G8 Summit After Obama, Putin Speak.
UPDATE: Pro-Russia protesters in Kharkiv, Ukraine beat supporters of the interim government.
UPDATE: Putin’s Crimea aim is to make the West look weak.
UPDATE: Russian Embassy to UK: “Russia remains open to cooperation with all partners … to seek a political solution to the crisis” in Ukraine.
UPDATE: Russian servicemen take weapons from Ukrainian radar and navy training facilities in Crimea region, Interfax says.
UPDATE: WikiLeaks Cables Foreshadow Russian Instigation of Ukrainian Military Action.
UPDATE: A convoy of Russian troops is heading toward Crimea’s capital, Simferopol.
INTERFAX LIVE TEXT:
REUTERS LIVE FEED:
WSJ LIVE BLOG:
TELEGRAPH LIVE BLOG:
BBC LIVE BLOG:
UPDATE: Ukraine calls up reserves as Russian troops advance in Crimea.
UPDATE: John Kerry says Russia’s move into Ukraine is ‘an incredible act of aggression,’ …Russia G8 status at risk …could face visa bans, asset freezes, trade and investment penalties.
Pope Francis urges world leaders to promote dialogue as a way of resolving the crisis in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador to U.N.: “We are preparing to defend ourselves”
UPDATE: @maxseddon reporting from Ukraine: Russian Troops Swarm Crimea.
Hagel weighs in on Ukraine: “This could be a very dangerous situation.”
UPDATE: Thousands are marching in a pro-invasion rally in downtown Moscow one day after Russia’s parliament gave President Vladimir Putin a green light to use military force in Ukraine.
At least 10,000 people bearing Russian flags marched freely through Moscow on Sunday, while dozens of people demonstrating on Red Square against an invasion of Ukraine were quickly detained by Russian riot police. The Associated Press witnessed over 50 detentions and spotted at least five police vans, which carry between 15 and 20 protesters, driving away from the square. (AP)
BREAKING: Ukraine’s Navy Chief swears allegiance to people of Crimea.
CHATTER: Ukrainian warships voluntarily leave Sevastopol.
UPDATE: Ukrainian official: head of Black Sea fleet removed, under investigation for treason -AP
UPDATE: NATO secretary-general: Military action against Ukraine by Russian Federation is breach of international law.
CHATTER: Russian forces in complete operational control of Crimea, Ukraine. Some 6,000 naval/airborne troops believed to be there.
Also… US working to develop a OSCE mission to go in to replace Russian forces if they can be persuaded to pull back.
Also… Kerry will travel to Kiev on Tuesday to meet with new government and support Ukraine politically and economically.
NOW: Reports of a loud explosion in Simferopol, Ukraine
MORE: Chiefs of Border guards, Internal affairs, Emergency situations, Security service, Navy, take oath to Crimea -RT
NOW: More explosions heard in Simferopol Crimea’s capital.
UPDATE: Putin accepts Merkel’s plan for a “contact group” to help work through Ukraine crisis.
UPDATE: Sr. admin. official: US “not focusing” on notion of military intervention in Crimea; not viewed as “effective” right now - AliABCNews
Also… Asked if Putin is listening, sr admin official: “We in this administration have not made it a practice to look into Vladimir Putin’s soul.”
Also… Responding to criticism of Obama on Ukraine admin official says, ‘When it comes to soft power … Vladimir Putin has no game’
UPDATE: U.S. Laying Groundwork to Kick Russia Out of G8.
UPDATE: G-7 Leaders Condemn Russia In Scathing Statement.
Also… US stocks sink at open as worries mount over possible Russian intervention in Ukraine.
Also… Russian shares plummet
UPDATE: Ukraine defense ministry: Russian fleet issues ultimatum to Ukraine forces in Crimea to surrender by 10pm ET or face ‘storm’. -interfax
Also… Russia has said China is largely “in agreement” over Ukraine. -Sky News
Also… Biden called Russian PM Medvedev this morning, urged Russia to pull back forces and begin meaningful dialogue with Ukrainian gov’t -NBC News
Also… Angry Angela Merkel questions whether Putin is ‘in touch with reality’.
Also… U.S. Will Not Send Presidential Delegation to Paralympics in Russia.
UPDATE: US preparing sanctions against Russia over Ukraine crisis.
Also… The Obama administration says any Russian threat to Ukraine’s navy would be a ‘dangerous escalation’.
Also… Obama says Russia ‘on the wrong side if history’ on Ukraine, actions violate international law. -AP
Also… Human rights group UN Watch launches campaign to remove Russia from UN’s Human Rights Council.
Also… Crimea Navy chief gets into heated exchanges with officers as he tries to convince them to defect.
Also… U.S. President Obama says U.S. will examine steps to “isolate Russia” if government continues incursion into Crimea, Ukraine. -NBCNews
BREAKING: Armed men seize Ukrainian border checkpoint at terminal of ferry between Russia and Crimea. -euronews
MORE: Three truckloads of soldiers brought through Russia-Crimea ferry crossing after Russian forces seize border guard checkpoint. -Reuters
UPDATE: Russia’s UN enovy Churkin tells Security Council Ukraine’s ousted Pres. Yanukovich asked Putin to use military force in Ukraine. -Reuters
Also… oil skyrockets ..ie gas prices to increase dramatically.
Also… US Ambassador to the UN: Samantha Power rips into Russia at an emergency Security Council meeting.
Also… Ukraine tells UN that 16,000 Russian troops have been deployed to Crimea.
RAW VIDEO: Pres Barack Obama says Russia’s actions violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and international law.
NOW: US House exploring loan guarantees for Ukraine, sanctions against Russia.
UPDATE: Pentagon announces all military-to-military engagements between US and Russia put on hold.
Also… Ukrainians say they’re ready to fight for their country.
Also… Pentagon severs ties with Russian military.
Also… More WH outreach on Ukraine: VP Biden speaks separately with Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk & Estonian Pres Toomas Ilves.
UPDATE: Crimean authorities to cut power, water to Ukrainian troops.
CHATTER: missile batteries mounted on 4 more Russian APCs outside Belbek base.
BREAKING: Putin reportedly orders troops in western Russia, near Ukraine, back to bases after military exercises.
CHATTER: Commander of Ukraine’s Belbek base just got a call from Russian counterpart. Another ultimatum: surrender by 16:00
CHATTER: Airforce column stopped in Belbek base. Russians block the way. Fire warning shots.
MORE: Ukrainians keep marching
NOTE: See pics of real time events on blog
CONT. Russians call commander to negotiate. Troops have RPGs and machine guns trained on the column of unarmed Ukrainian soldiers.
CONT. Russians back down, allow 10 Ukraine soldiers to take up positions at occupied base, but still awaiting orders from Moscow
CONT. Standoff not over yet …facing each other, not moving Dozens of guns trained on Ukrainians
CONT. UNCONFIMED… The Ukraine commanders just received word that Putin ordered the Russian troops to withdraw.
CONT. Talks with Russians failed. Ukrainian soldiers at Belbek prepare to march to their aircraft under threat of gunfire
CONT. Wives of Ukrainian officers prepare to join the men marching on Belbek airbase …see blog for pics.
CONT. Ukraine commander demands to guard the base jointly with Russians, who pledge to give their commanders’ response by 12:00, in 2 hours
CONCLUSION: Ukrainians left base ..Yuliy Mamchuk tells press ..there was no compromise, no solution during negotiations w/ Russian side at Belbek Airfield. Time will be doing a story on one of the ballsiest moves of the Crimean conflict so far ..and some of you were there TT ;)~
RAW VIDEO: http://t.co/cTWbyG04SM
UPDATE: Putin to hold first press conference since the start of the Ukraine Crisis at 9.30am
UPDATE: Putin’s statement on Ukraine summary.
UPDATE: Turkey reveals it scrambled eight F-16 fighter jets on Monday after a Russian plane flew along its Black Sea coast.
UPDATE: Russia has declined invitation for talks with Ukraine, senior U.S. administration official tells CNN.
Also… Obama: ‘Putin can throw a lot of words out there but facts on ground indicate right now he’s not abiding by intl law’
Obama: ‘We’re prepared to make sure that the rights of all Ukrainians are upheld’
Obama: ‘We believe the Ukrainian people should be able to decide their own future’
Also… US prepared to take further steps to isolate Russia if it choses not to de-escalate. -John Kerry
UPDATE: Russian navy ships blocking channel between Russia and Crimea.
Also… Russia says it will retaliate for any US sanctions over Ukraine. -Reuters
BREAKING: Russia just tested-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile.
MORE: Missile was an RS-12M Topol ICBM from southerly Astrakhan region near Caspian Sea.
MORE: White House confirms Russia’s ICBM test launch was ‘routine’
UPDATE: Ukraine is stepping up its protection of nuclear power plants across the country because of ‘a grave threat to the security.’ -BBCNews
UPDATE: Crew of a Ukrainian navy ship has reportedly fought off an attempted seizure by an armed group on board a tug boat.
Also… Russian forces occupying Crimea are jamming cell phones and severing Internet connections.
UPDATE: U.S. SAO says there won’t be a Sochi G-8 unless Russian forces pull back into their bases in Crimea.
CHATTER: Sevastopol civilians are changing in Ukrainian soldiers uniforms.
Also… 40 Russian troops in full uniform & with weapons arrive @ Yevpatoria military base.
UPDATE: US will not participate in G8 Summit in Sochi.
UPDATE: Hillary Clinton Weighs in on Ukraine, Compares Putin to Hitler.
UPDATE: Russian warships cross Bosphorus into Black Sea.
UPDATE: Russian social site is looking for young men to cross into Ukraine to offer “moral support.”
◇The First Shot?◇
UNCONFIRMED: There was information coming through the media center of the State Executive Service that Putin’s conversation was intercepted with his commander in Crimea.
'Why aren't they shooting?'
'They just aren't.”
'But how do you behave? Do you provoke them?'
'Yes, we provoke them'
'Do you remain defiant?'
'Yes, we are defiant, but they aren't shooting.'
'Why aren't they shooting?'
'I don't know why, but they don't'
UPDATE: (OSCE) is sending a delegation which includes representatives from the US and 14 other nations to observe the situation in Crimea amid tensions in Ukraine.
UPDATE: US Lawmakers probe spy agency differences over Russia’s intentions in Ukraine.
UPDATE: Russia preparing bill to confiscate property, stocks, accts of US/European firms as answer to floated sanctions, Russian senator tells RIA.
BREAKING: Russia sold record $11.3 bln in interventions to support ruble -AFP
UPDATE: The Ukrainian ships in Sevastopol have been told by the Russians to surrender …see blog for pic.
Also… Belbek military base was attacked by Russian troops. All Ukrainian troops forced out from their base area -5channel PR News
□STRANGE TWIST VIA RT NEWS□
(Side note.. RTdoes lean Russian)
MORE: RT contacted Ashton’s Spox “we don’t comment on leaked phone conversations.
MORE: Conversation with Ashton took place last week right after I returned from Kiev.
VIDEO: Russian navy block Ukrainian military ships from leaving Sevastopol bay. Ukr captain appeals to the media.
VIDEO: Pro-Russian men in Crimea confront women demonstrating for Ukraine.
UPDATE: Crowd waving Russian flags storms government HQ in Ukraine city of Donetsk - AP, -Reuters
UPDATE: John Kerry, met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.
Lavrov: ‘soldiers deployed to Crimea were not Russian, and that he could not order the “self defence” forces back to their bases because they did not answer to Moscow.’
However, he stated: “We will not allow bloodshed. We will not allow attempts against the lives and wellbeing of those who live in Ukraine and Russian citizens who live in Ukraine.”
Also… Send in the U.N. monitors, White House pleads with Putin.
●Robert Serry kicked out of Crimea●
BREAKING: UN envoy walking to hotel after his car seized by armed men.
MORE: Robert Serry confronted by unidentified armed men in Crimea. “He is physically in good shape. He is not kidnapped. -pzfeed
MORE: Deputy UN Sec-Gen Eliasson denies reports UN Represenative Serry was kidnapped, says Serry was threatened -Reuters
MORE: via James Mates: Robert Serry not kidnapped, but held in a coffee shop. Some men outside prevent him from leaving …see pic on blog
Cont. Robert Serry has now agreed to go straight to the airport and end his mission in Crimea.
Cont. Serry finally on his way to the airport, police having forced a way through an angry crowd.
Cont. Crowd chant Russia Russia as UN envoy leaves coffee shop and scrambles into waiting car.
Cont. Robert Serry said “very happy to leave Crimea if it helped de escalate the situation.”
Cont. Serry now in business lounge blocked by pro-Russia militia members. Agrees to fly out at 935 local. Only flight at that time is to Istanbul. -Nick Schifrin
CONCLUSION: Serry on flight to Istanbul, according to pro-Russian MP who spoke at airport.
James Mates’ first-hand account of the UN envoy being trapped in Crimea cafe by militia.
UPDATE: Sergei Lavrov says after meeting John Kerry that they agreed Ukraine Govt and opposition need to stick to February’s EU peace deal.
UPDATE: Russian & Ukrainian FMs both at French Foreign Ministry now -AFP
Also… NATO chief says alliance suspends meetings with Russia, puts ‘entire cooperation under review’. -AP
Also… The United States plans to expand military cooperation with Poland and Baltic states to show “support” for its allies after Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
-Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel
Also… Ukraine willing to give Crimea more autonomy.
UPDATE: US warship (possible USS George H.W. Bush) given permission to traverse Bosphorus en route to Black Sea.
Also… U.S. official says Pentagon to send six additional F-15s to Baltic air policing operation. -Reuters
CHATTER: Russian military leaving Feodosiya and moving towards Russian base of Black Sea Fleet due to OSCE mission.
UPDATE: People waving Ukrainian flags on the street as Obama arrives in Cambridge, Mass, for DNC fundraiser.
-pzfeed …see pic on blog
UPDATE: Russia Today America (RT) anchor just resigned on air says “cannot be part of a network that whitewashes the actions of President Putin.
RT reacts to Liz Wahl’s resignation
CHATTER: US mercenary army Blackwater now in Crimea.
VIDEO: When Ukraine Prime Minister tells AP Crimea situation resembles a ‘coup’
CHATTER: Russian military were noticed near Sudak, Ukraine. Residents say they may be hiding in the forests.
UPDATE: Femen beaten and dragged through the streets in Crimea.
Pro-Russian Protestors Storm Ukraine Gov’t Building.
Also… Ukraine’s economy minister says referendum on Crimea’s status planned by the region’s pro-Russian leaders would be illegitimate -Reuters
UPDATE: EU freezes assets of Yanukovich and 17 other Ukranians.
UPDATE: US imposes visa restrictions on Russian officials.
Also… Russian foreign minister Lavrov says US sanctions against Russia continue to add pressure, are not constructive -Reuters
Also… US to send 12 F16s and 300 soldiers to Poland in response to the Ukraine Crisis.
Also… 6 additional F-15′s and KC-135 tanker have arrived in Lithuania today.
BREAKING: Russia sinks ship to close off part of Ukrainian waters.
-Tom Barton ..see pic on blog
CHATTER: Parliament initiated to dissolve the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Turchynov
UPDATE: Europe threatens Russia with visa bans, asset freezes.
Also… Crimean parliament forms new ministries, government departments.
Also… Obama says Crimea referendum would violate Ukraine’s constitution and international law.
BREAKING: Interpol Says Ukraine Wants Yanukovych’s Arrest.
Also…. USS Truxtun Departs Souda Bay for Black Sea.
CHATTER: High probability of Russian assault on Crimea this night, air strikes not ruled out.
UPDATE: Georgian Interior Ministry says country’s airspace violated by Russian military helicopter.