KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian museum caretaker Valentin knows what it’s like when Moscow sends in troops to occupy a reluctant ally – he was there, in Red Army uniform, when Soviet tanks rolled in to crush the Prague Spring in 1968.
“We were the occupiers then. Now we are the ones who are being occupied by the Russians,” he said, shaking his head at the irony of history which sees Ukraine, long Moscow’s closest partner, losing Crimea after Sunday’s Kremlin-backed referendum there and fearing further invasion from the east.
SIMFEROPOL/KIEV (Reuters) – Crimea’s Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favor of quitting Ukraine and annexation by Russia in a referendum Western powers said was illegal and will bring immediate sanctions.
As state media in Russia carried a startling reminder of its
power to turn the United States to “radioactive ash”, President Barack Obama spoke to Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling the Russian president that he and his European allies were ready to impose “additional costs” on Moscow for violating Ukraine’s territory.
KIEV/DONETSK (Reuters) – Ukraine accused “Kremlin agents” on Saturday of fomenting deadly violence in Russian-speaking cities and urged people not to rise to provocations its new leaders fear Moscow may use to justify a further invasion after its takeover of Crimea.
From his speaker’s chair in parliament, acting president Oleksander Turchinov referred to three deaths in two days in Donetsk and Kharkiv and said there was “a real danger” of invasion by Russian troops across Ukraine’s eastern border.
SEVASTOPOL/KIEV, March 11 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s government
appealed for Western help on Tuesday to stop Moscow annexing
Crimea but the Black Sea peninsula, overrun by Russian troops,
seemed fixed on a course that could formalise rule from Moscow
With their own troops in Crimea effectively prisoners in
their bases, the new authorities in Kiev painted a sorry picture
of the military bequeathed them by the pro-Moscow president
overthrown two weeks ago. They announced the raising of a new
National Guard to be drawn from volunteers among veterans.
KIEV/SEVASTOPOL (Reuters) – Ukraine’s interim leaders established a new National Guard on Tuesday and appealed to the United States and Britain for assistance against what they called Russian aggression in Crimea under a post-Cold War treaty.
Blaming their ousted predecessors for the weakness of their own armed forces, acting ministers told parliament Ukraine had as few as 6,000 combat-ready infantry and that the air force was outnumbered nearly 100 to 1 by Moscow’s superpower forces.
LONDON (Reuters) – If Scots vote now on independence, their 307-year-old union with England will continue – nine polls since December show the No vote winning their referendum by anywhere from 8 to 28 percentage points.
The trouble for investors in Britain, and anyone taking a view on whether the United Kingdom survives, is they don’t vote for another seven months and many Scots say they may change their mind by September 18. That has drawn significant betting on a Yes vote and may well upset so far sanguine financial markets.