UPDATE: Crimea's regional government has allegedly petitioned the Russian Federation for integration.
Over the course of a few weeks, the Crimean protests have gone from a simple civil demonstration to a full-blown international crisis. the US, UK, Germany, France, Poland and many more nations have condemned Russia, saying that it is breaking international law and Ukrainian sovereignty my sending troops into Crimea.
Most of the crisis can be traced back to the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Russian government, and its replacement with a pro-EU nationalist government. Russia, allegedly to protect its citizens in Crimea (ethnic Russians make up roughly 60% of Crimea’s population), has moved troops in for a military intervention in Crimea. With control over airports and ports along with anywhere from six to twenty-eight thousand troops in Crimea and assorted pro-Russian volunteers and Ukrainian defectors (information on defectors is suspect, as it all comes from pro-Russian news), Russia seems to be in position to seize Crimea and its valuable warm-water port of Sevastopol.
The Ukrainian response has been, obviously, against Russia’s intervention. Three ex-Presidents of Ukraine have accused Russia of interfering in Crimea’s internal affairs, current President Oleksandr Turchynov warned of a serious risk of separatism in the Ukraine due to it’s almost 50/50 pro-EU pro-Russia split. The armed forces of the Ukraine have been put to full readiness, and the amount of people volunteering for the reserves has skyrocketed. The international reaction has been similarly negative, with most countries interpreting Russia’s actions as military intervention in a sovereign state. The international condemnation has only increased after Robert H. Serry, UN Special Envoy to the Ukraine, was taken hostage by armed gunmen and forced to abandon his mission to the Ukraine. The United States have even threatened to remove Russia from the Group of Eight (G8) bloc, and has abstained from and G8 summits until the crisis is resolved.
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