Russia's Ultimatum To Ukraine Warships "Surrender Or Be Stormed & Seized." V.P. Joe Biden Urges Pullout. John McCain Blames President Obama's "Feckless Foreign Policy" For Problem [Video]

 

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KIEV, Ukraine (Associated Press) — Russia issued an ultimatum Monday, demanding that the crew of two Ukrainian warships in Crimea immediately surrender or be stormed and seized, a Ukrainian military spokesman said.

 

Four Russian navy ships in Sevastopol harbor were blocking the Ukrainian anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych from leaving the dock, waiting for their commanders' responses, spokesman Maksim Prauta said.

 

 

Vladimir Anikin, a Russian defense ministry spokesman in Moscow, dismissed the report of a Russian ultimatum as nonsense but refused to elaborate.

 

Elsewhere on the strategic peninsula, Russian troops controlled all Ukrainian border posts Monday in Crimea, as well as all military facilities and a key ferry terminal. Now, fears in Kiev and beyond were that Russia might target and seize other parts of Ukraine, in particular parts of its pro-Russian east, the country's industrial powerhouse and agricultural breadbasket.

 

 

As diplomats met in Brussels, Kiev and Geneva, warnings about the threat posed by Russia's military invasion were issued from a host of European capitals.

 

 

"We are in the most serious crisis for Europe since the fall of the (Berlin) Wall. Twenty-five years after the end of the conflict between east and west, there's a real danger of a split in Europe," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Brussels.

 

"Anyone who follows the news can see that the escalation isn't stopping. On the contrary, the threats from the Russian side are only getting louder," he added.

 

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in Geneva to attend U.N. meetings, explained the reasoning behind Russia's military invasion of Crimea.

 

"This is a question of defending our citizens and compatriots, ensuring human rights, especially the right to life," he said.

 

There have been no reports, however, of any hostilities toward Russian-speakers in Ukraine during the country's four months of political upheaval.

 

The Russian Foreign Ministry also pressed hard Monday for Ukrainian politicians to return to the Feb. 21 agreement that promised to create a new unity government which would rule until an early election no later than December. The proposal seemed to be a non-starter for the West, however, for it would void the new government that Ukraine installed last week.

 

Tensions between the two former Soviet neighbors rose sharply after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed out by a protest movement made up of people who wanted closer ties with the European Union, more democracy and less corruption. Yanukovych fled to Russia last month after more than 80 demonstrators were killed — mostly by police — near Kiev's central square but insists he is still president.

 

In Kiev, Ukraine's new prime minister admitted his country had "no military options on the table" to reverse Russia's military move into its Crimea region.

 

While Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk appealed Monday for outside help and insisted that Crimea still remained part of his country, European foreign ministers held an emergency meeting on a joint response that could include economic sanctions against Russia.

 

"Any attempt of Russia to grab Crimea will have no success at all. Give us some time," Yatsenyuk said at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.

 

But he added that "for today" there were "no military options on the table." He said his country was "urgently" asking for economic and political support from other countries.

 

"The U.K is not discussing military options. Our concentration is on diplomatic and economic pressure," Hague said.

 

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was heading to Ukraine on Tuesday after demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin pull back from "an incredible act of aggression."

 

 

In the meantime, Russian forces were clearly in charge in Crimea, home to 2 million mostly Russian-speaking people and landlord for Russia's critical Black Sea Fleet at Sevastopol.

 

In addition to seizing barracks and border posts, troops also controlled a ferry terminal in the Ukrainian city of Kerch, just 20 kilometers (12 miles) across the water from Russia. That intensified fears in Kiev that Moscow will send even more troops into the peninsula via that route.

 

Border guard spokesman Sergei Astakhov said the Russians were demanding that Ukrainian soldiers and guards transfer their allegiance to Crimea's new pro-Russian local government.

 

"The Russians are behaving very aggressively. They came in by breaking down doors, knocking out windows, cutting off every communication," he said.

 

 

He said four Russian military ships, 13 helicopters and 8 transport planes had arrived in Crimea in violation of agreements that permit Russian to keep its Black Sea fleet at the naval base in Sevastopol.

 

Ukraine is also struggling on the financial front. The treasury is almost empty and its currency is under pressure after years of running large deficits. The International Monetary Fund said a fact-finding mission would visit Ukraine starting Tuesday for 10 days. Ukraine has asked the IMF for rescue loans and says it needs $35 billion to pay its bills over the next two years.

 

 

Market reaction to the Russian invasion of Crimea was immediate Monday. In European trading, gold and oil rose while the euro and stock markets fell. The greatest impact was felt in Moscow, where the main RTS index was down 12 percent at 1,115 and the dollar spiked to an all-time high of 37 rubles.

 

 

Russia's central bank hiked its main interest rate 1.5 percentage points Monday to 7 percent, trying to stem financial outflows.

 

Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, was also big loser, its share price down 13 percent as investors worried about how it would get its gas to Europe if hostilities kept up, since much of it goes through Ukrainian pipelines.

 

Putin has rejected calls from the West, insisting that Russia has a right to protect its interests and those of Russian-speakers anywhere in Ukraine. His confidence is matched by the knowledge that Ukraine's 46 million people have divided loyalties — while much of western Ukraine wants closer ties with the 28-nation European Union, its eastern and southern regions like Crimea look to Russia for support and trade.

 

Faced with the Russian threat, Ukraine's new government has moved to consolidate its authority, naming new regional governors in the pro-Russia east, enlisting the support of the country's wealthy businessmen and dismissing the head of the country's navy after he declared allegiance to the pro-Russian government in Crimea.

 

 

NATO held an emergency meeting in Brussels and the U.S., France and Britain debated the possibility of boycotting the next Group of Eight economic summit, to be held in June in Sochi, the host of Russia's successful Winter Olympics.

 

Via Reuters

 

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Vice President Joe Biden urged Russia to pull its forces back from Ukraine in a phone call on Monday with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the White House said.

"The Vice President urged Russia to pull back its forces, support the immediate deployment of international monitors to Ukraine, and begin a meaningful political dialogue with the Ukrainian government," the White House said in a statement released later on Monday.

 

Via NBC News

 

 

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the Russian military's takeover of Crimea, a portion of Ukraine, are a result of a "feckless foreign policy" under the Obama administration.

 

"The fact is, this is blatant act on the part of Vladimir Putin and one that must be unacceptable to world community. It cannot stand," McCain said at AIPAC, a conference for supporters of Israel in Washington, D.C.


 

 

 

 

McCain Slams Obama Over Ukraine


 

 

Tense standoff with Russian forces at Crimean military base

 

 

 

Pro-Russian protesters occupied the regional government building in Donetsk


 

 

Russia faces 'costs and consequences', warns William Hague

 

 

 

Russia Demands Surrender Of Ukraine's Crimea Forces

 

 

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Comment by Bijou BAKSON on March 4, 2014 at 5:55am

The war in The DR Congo is a worst case of territory invasion and none of em ever spoke out. The irony is deathning...

Comment by Universal on March 4, 2014 at 2:48am
Putin is the biggest BOSS ive seen thus far! Not f***** officer ross!
Comment by 1THUG aka Ya INNERNET TUFF GUY!! on March 3, 2014 at 11:19pm

CRIMEA RIVER OHHH....CRIMEA RIVER OHHH!! that was ah hella good track by timbo and jussin timbalakes!!

Comment by 1THUG aka Ya INNERNET TUFF GUY!! on March 3, 2014 at 11:19pm

poo-tin is tha fuggin truth...tha NWO is skared as fugg of russia!!

Comment by George on March 3, 2014 at 10:07pm

Why don't these European leaders send some troops in if this situation is so "unacceptable" that it is going to tear Europe apart. Personally, I think Obama's stance on foreign policy is weak. But s*** these Europeans are way worse. They just sit around talking about consequences when in reality they are waiting for the US military to get involved.

Comment by T.T.S. on March 3, 2014 at 6:13pm

I totally agree with anastasia's most recent comment. BTW Russian forces are so far only in the Crimean peninsula, which is historically Russian land, and most people there are Russians anyway. And the NATO as well as the U.S. knows better not to fight Russia on his own land. They should have learned that from history by now. In the end, Ukraine will most likely to be divided.

I'm also not surprised that when any other nation than the U.S. starts military action it's all over the western media, they're trying to paint Putin as somekind of a demonic figure, showing people who are suffering and hurt etc. Where were these pictures when the U.S. stormed the Middle East several times? Where were the pictures of dozens of innocent people bombed by drones, hm? How many international laws did the U.S. ignore exactly?

Comment by Vinny Vendetta on March 3, 2014 at 6:01pm

..christ.

1hb6kfe6oickb Comment by 1hb6kfe6oickb on March 3, 2014 at 5:16pm

I don't know who's right or wrong but I don't think the US can afford to get involved financially or militarily. Ukraine was broke before this crisis and needed either Russia or the EU to support them. Their president chose to take the help from Russia which I can understand since Russia is their neighbor and a large population of ppl in Ukraine have roots in Russia, are pro-Russian and speak Russian as their 1st language. BC of this decision, anti-Russian protesters who wanted to get the help from the EU rebels against and overthrows the government that the entire country had elected and puts in a new govt. that would choose to go with the EU. They knew they had no money but were counting on sympathy and support from the West. Now bc of their rebellion and their inability to stand on their own w/o the EU or Russia, the US is about to give millions more in aid to the Ukraine. Those protesters didn't consult us when they decided to overthrow their legally elected government so why is it costing us millions now? They made that decision so why are we losing out? We can use that money to support American causes here. The protesters set all of this into motion with their uprising or coup. They counted on the West to support them bc of our fears of Russia. I think we need to stay out of this and focus on our issues. Let's build up our country so that we can be in a strong position to help others, but right now we're not. If we spread ourselves too thin getting involved in every crisis in the world that does not affect us and continue neglecting our own needs, we will cause our own collapse.

1hb6kfe6oickb Comment by 1hb6kfe6oickb on March 3, 2014 at 4:52pm

"Russian-language TV news monitored over the weekend by CNBC revealed two main themes about the crisis in Ukraine's Crimea that now threatens to spread to the rest of the country: Ukrainian protesters, commentators said, are radicals and neo-Nazis. And Americans, along with their European allies, are hypocrites.""When even one citizen of the U.S. or Israel finds himself in a dangerous situation, everyone uses every power they have to save just that one person," Valentina Matviyenko, Russia's highest-ranking female politician, said on one broadcast. "In Crimea, more than 60 percent of the people are Russians, and these Russians and the leader of Crimea have asked for our help, and we can't be indifferent.""The reporter also mentioned that during a Russian parliamentary session that voted unanimously Saturday to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to send troops into Crimea, several legislators discussed how they can't forget that the U.S. uses its might to protect its own people — even in the farthest reaches of the world." "But for some reason, Russia's attempt to protect its own people has been received by many aggressive responses in the West," said the reporter. There were many references to fascism and "radicals from the West" both from reporters and interviewees." (nbcnews.com)

Comment by bittersweet on March 3, 2014 at 4:30pm

Putin stands against the neo-con Zionists, operation Gladio right wing. And I'm with him. Yanukovych calls it a coup from the fascists thugs....and we see enough of that right here in good ole USA.
Been going on a long time.
Time is now.
Rid the world of the Brood of Vipers, or live to regret it.
At the very least, tame them.
But something tells me that wouldn't be enough.....
Leopard doesn't change its spots.




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