Crimea, Ukraine: Russian troops on Friday attacked a Ukranian military base 5 kilometers from the Ukranian city Sevastopol, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimean peninsula. No shots have been fired.
According to early reports, members of a pro-Russia militia used a truck to break though the gate of the base. The truck got stuck at the gate, and Russia soldiers climbed over it. Some 70 Ukrainian troops were said to still be holding out in the bunkers. Russians troops who broke through the perimeter demanded the Ukrainian soldiers surrender.
A Ukrainian military official, Vladislav Seleznyov, told Reuters by telephone that the armed men took over the base without any shooting and that no one was hurt. Another Ukrainian official told Reuters at the post that he was now mediating between the Ukrainian forces and the armed group inside, and that no arms had been seized.
Russia now has 30,000 troops in Ukraine’s Crimea region, according to Ukrainian border guards, nearly twice the previous figure given by the government in Kiev.
Meanwhile, Russia said on Friday that any American sanctions imposed against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis would boomerang back on the United States and urged Washington not to damage bilateral ties. source – HAARETZ
US president Barack Obama finds the political waters increasingly more difficult to swim in as Russian leader Vladimir Putin continues to eat his lunch. And I mean every, last bite of it. If you are the type of American that swells with patriotic fervor every time our National Anthem is played, these are not good days for you.
MOSCOW/SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin rebuffed a warning from U.S. President Barack Obama over Moscow’s military intervention in Crimea, saying on Friday that Russia could not ignore calls for help from Russian speakers in Ukraine.
After an hour-long telephone call, Putin said in a statement that Moscow and Washington were still far apart on the situation in the former Soviet republic, where he said the new authorities had taken “absolutely illegitimate decisions on the eastern, southeastern and Crimea regions.
“Russia cannot ignore calls for help and it acts accordingly, in full compliance with international law,” Putin said. Ukraine’s border guards said Moscow had poured troops into the southern peninsula where Russian forces have seized control.
Serhiy Astakhov, an aide to the border guards’ commander, said there were now 30,000 Russian soldiers in Crimea, compared to 11,000 permanently based with the Russian Black Sea fleet in the port of Sevastopol before the crisis.
Putin denies that the forces with no national insignia that are surrounding Ukrainian troops in their bases are under Moscow’s command, although their vehicles have Russian military plates. The West has ridiculed this claim.
The most serious east-west confrontation since the end of the Cold War – resulting from the overthrow last month of President Viktor Yanukovich after violent protests in Kiev – escalated on Thursday when Crimea’s parliament, dominated by ethnic Russians, voted to join Russia. The region’s government set a referendum for March 16 – in just nine days’ time.
European Union leaders and Obama denounced the referendum as illegitimate, saying it would violate Ukraine’s constitution. source – Yahoo News
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Crimea’s parliament voted to join Russia on Thursday and its Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis over the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula.
The sudden acceleration of moves to bring Crimea, which has an ethnic Russian majority and has effectively been seized by Russian forces, formally under Moscow’s rule came as European Union leaders gathered for an emergency summit to find ways to pressure Russia to back down.
U.S. President Barack Obama took steps to punish those involved in threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, ordering the freezing of their U.S. assets and a ban on travel into the United States.
The U.S. Navy announced a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Truxton, was heading to the Black Sea in what it said was a long-planned training exercise and not a show of force.
The Crimean parliament voted unanimously “to enter into the Russian Federation with the rights of a subject of the Russian Federation”. source – Yahoo News
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1
You are watching the collapse in slow motion of what used to be the greatest fighting force on the face of the earth. The damage that Obama has been able to inflict on the United States military is unimaginable. If you have ever wondered why America is not mentioned in end times bible prophecy, now you know. We collapsed as a nation.
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Since the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, U.S. military bases have hosted a gay marriage ceremonies and a potluck gatherings. But on Saturday, servicemembers here may have been the first to take to the stage and perform as drag queens on a military installation in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender troops.
Drag queens and drag kings, to be precise.
Six service members — gay, lesbian and straight — donned heavy makeup to dance and lip sync songs such as “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” for a raucous capacity crowd at the Rocker NCO Club at Kadena Air Base. The event was a fundraiser for the recently formed Okinawa chapter of OutServe-SLDN, which is the largest nonprofit advocate for the military’s LGBT community.
“We didn’t think there was much of a desire for an event like this on the island but it has actually blown up,” said Navy Lt. Marissa Greene, co-chapter leader of OutServe Okinawa.
Greene said she had hoped to sell about 75 tickets to fund some future support activities for the group, which was formed last summer and still “starting from scratch.” The event was approved as a “variety show” by Kadena’s 18th Wing through the same process as other on-base fundraisers.
But an initial 200 tickets were plucked up almost immediately, so they issued another 200. “We ended up selling 400 tickets in 10 days,” she said.
Amid the unexpected success, OutServe carefully avoided any mention of politics, but its variety show comes at a pivotal time for gay civil rights in the United States, with many states passing laws dealing with marriage or debating individual liberties.
It is also a sign of the times within the military; just a few years ago, gay and lesbian drag performances on a military base would have been unthinkable and potentially a cause for dismissal from the service.
The repeals of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, as well as the Defense of Marriage Act — the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages — have allowed gays and lesbians in the military to be open with their sexuality for the first time.
The historic shift appears to be mostly accepted and embraced throughout the ranks despite warnings the DADT repeal could harm order and good discipline.
On Saturday night, the Rocker club was packed for performances by servicemembers using stage names such as Chocolate Sunrise – a crowd favorite — and Artemis Faux. The event’s sole lesbian performer took the drag king name Manny Nuff.
The advocacy group agreed to avoid using the term “drag show” as part of its on-base fundraiser effort. Tech. Sgt. Kristen Baker, who was among the crowd, said the show got a warm reception and would leave a mark for civil rights.
“Everything is just accepted. It makes me really proud to watch it,” Baker said. In the military, “we are all brothers and sisters no matter what.”
The Russian military has given Ukrainian forces in Crimea until 5 a.m. Tuesday (10 p.m. ET Monday) to surrender or face a “storm,” Interfax news agency reported.
“If they do not surrender by 5 a.m. tomorrow, we will start a real storm in Ukrainian bases in Crimea,” according to the statement sent by the Russians to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry, a ministry source told Interfax. NBC News could not immediately confirm the report.
The ultimatum was attributed to Alexandr Vitko, chief commander of Russia’s Black Sea fleet.
Ukraine mobilized for war on Sunday after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighbor to protect Russian citizens.
The standoff in Ukraine has created the greatest moment of tension between Russia and the West since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, an event Russian President Vladimir Putin once called the worst geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. source – NBC News
Reuters contributed to this report.
Sky News: Russia has said China is largely “in agreement” over Ukraine, after other world powers condemned Moscow for sending troops into the country. Hundreds of Russian soldiers have surrounded a military base in Crimea, preventing Ukrainian soldiers from going in or out. The convoy blockading the site, near the Crimean capital Simferopol, includes at least 17 military vehicles.
Russian troops are also reported to have taken control of a ferry terminal in the city of Kerch on the eastern tip of Crimea, which has a majority Russian-speaking population.
Ukraine’s defence ministry said two Russian fighter jets violated the country’s air space in the Black Sea on Sunday night and that it had scrambled an interceptor aircraft to prevent the “provocative actions”. And reports claimed pro-Russian protesters had occupied a floor of the regional government building in Donetsk. The 11-storey building has been flying the Russian flag for the last three days.
Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk has insisted his country “will never give up Crimea to anyone” and urged Russian forces to withdraw.
Mr Yatseniuk said: “I was and am a supporter of a diplomatic solution to the crisis, as a conflict would destroy the foundations for stability in the whole region.” In an interview with Sky News, Foreign Secretary William Hague said the crisis is likely to take some time to resolve.
He said: “I think we probably are looking at a long period of very active diplomacy and looking for solutions to this since there is no sign of a change in the Russian position on this. ”It’s impossible to be optimistic at the moment. We’re not in any position to be optimistic about the security situation and what is happening in the Crimea.”
The crisis has had a huge knock-on effect on global stock markets, with Moscow’s stock exchange plunging as much as 10% on Monday morning.
Russia’s central bank raised its rate to 7% from 5.5% as the ruble hit an historic low against the dollar and the euro.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov discussed Ukraine by telephone with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, on Monday, and claimed they had “broadly coinciding points of view” on the situation there, according to a ministry statement.
Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva later, Mr Lavrov said Russian troops were necessary in Ukraine “until the normalization of the political situation” and dismissed threats of sanctions and boycotts. source – Sky News
Ukrainian Ministry Of Defense Says Russian Forces Issue Surrender Ultimatum, Seize Military Airstrip
At 1am local time on March 1st, the Ministry of Defense issued a statement that they received intel informing of an attack on Ukrainian military installations between 2-5am, and that the Ukrainian army would respond if attacked.
In turn, it was reported by Hromadske TV that Russian forces issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces to surrender their military basses by the 2am deadline. At 2am, a military airfield in Kirovske was captured by Russian soldiers. source – Ukrainian Policy