According to BBC News, the Russian military has given Ukrainian forces within Crimea until 3:00 PM GMT to surrender to the Russian Military. The military has said that if they do not abide by this demand, Ukrainian forces in the region will “face storm.” The Russian military has also demanded the surrender of two warships ships in the region. If the ships do not surrender, Russia has said they will attack them after the 5:00 PM GMT deadline.
Ukrainian sources have made a claim to the United Nations stating that 16,000 Russian troops have been deployed to the Crimea region since last week. These troops were brought in through land, sea, and air, according to Ukraine. There is still no comment on Russia on this new information, but if it is true, it is an obvious sign that Russia was planning some sort of military intervention for some time over the past week.
In response, Ukraine has put all of its military forces on full alert and movement. They are preparing for the deadline which will bring wide-sweeping violence across Crimea from Russian forces if surrender of Ukrainian forces does not occur. The Russian government has claimed they are protecting the region from ultra-nationalists, but much of the world community is condemning Russia’s demand. The G7 has pulled out preparations for a G8 meeting that was set to occur in Russia in June. Moscow is outraged by the change. Russia is said to have de facto control over the region.
President Obama has said that the US has tools at its disposal to isolate Russia, and it will use them if Russia continues on this trajectory. The US State Department has said that it is working with key allies on a summit that the European Union will be convening in the coming days. According to reports, it is expected that the EU will be meeting 3 days from now about all options that are on the table to deal with the Ukrainian/Russia tensions. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that he believes no actions should be taken until the EU summit is held and solutions are proposed.
This comes as a shock as the world awaits on the brink of a possible global war. Over the weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin was granted authority by the Russian government to use military force against Ukraine. This has given him the authority to use Russia’s military force as he wishes. Ukraine takes this very seriously, and comments from the European Union and the United States have said that Russian involvement in Crimea will not be tolerated.
This morning, China said they were in agreement with Russians on the subject, a disheartening development putting further strain on the region and raising tensions to a new level.