Update: The Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia

Update: The Ukraine, Crimea, and Russia

The situation going on in the Ukraine has reached a fever pitch. Here’s a full update on what’s happen thus far.

According to Vladmir Putin gave an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces in Crimea to surrender of face assault. Crimea, is a strip of land bordering the Baltic sea that was gifted to the Ukraine by Soviet officials over 60 years ago.

Putin denied this allegation, but the timing of the threat makes his denial dubious since this was when Russia was conducting ‘military excercises’ and massive troop and tank movement has been going on.

Dislocation of Baltic Fleet infantry

EU foreign ministers condemned Russian aggression and the Russian rouble hits a new low against the dollar. Ukrainian border guards have report seeing a build-up of armored vehicles on the Russian side of a narrow sea channel, the Kerch Channel, dividing Russia and the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

Russia says the US has barred Russian veterinary officials who had been due to attend talks in Washington and calls it sabotage. Moscow tabloids become filled with anti-Ukrainian propaganda. One paper claimed Putin was “one step away from becoming the leader of the world, the chief figure embodying independence from American hegemony”.

Russia is accused of attempting to bribe Ukrainian soldiers into switching sides. Russia’s state gas producer Gazprom has warned Ukraine that it may increase the gas price for Kiev after the first quarter.

Gazprom

The Ukrainian interior ministry has posted a “wanted” notice for toppled President Viktor Yanukovych on its website, in which Mr Yanukovych is classed as “a person hiding from pre-trial investigation agencies”.

Russia’s upper house asks Putin to recall Russia’s ambassador to Washington, because of US President Barack Obama’s speech on Ukraine. President Obama warned that “there will be costs” for any military intervention in Ukraine.

President Vladmir Putin issues the statement that he could use force against the Ukraine, but “there is no reason, yet.” Further more he added that the Ukraine’s current government is illegitimate, and that ousting former president Viktor Yanukovich was an “unconstitutional coup”. However, he denied troop movement, and dismissed the photos of Russian soldiers in Crimean.

Putin Live Stream

Putin defends his threat to cut the Ukraine’s gas subsidy. Russia has repeatedly engaged in “gas wars” with Ukraine, threatening to cut subsidies as a means of asserting political pressure. Putin claims this is because of the Ukraine’s inability to pay its bill from the previous year.

Secretary of State John Kerry arrives one day after the White House offered a $1 billion aid package as a show of support for Ukraine’s interim government. President Barack Obama announced his intentions to impose economic sanctions on high-level Russian officials involved in Crimea’s military occupation.

Kerry in Kiev

Russia’s response to potential sanctions being placed against it sever ties with the U.S. economically, warning that the American financial system faced a “crash” if this happened.

President Obama refuted Putin’s claims that there are no Russian troops amassing along the Crimean border, and in the meantime Russia reportedly test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile this afternoon.

This blog will be updated as the situation develops.