AP, March 1
Canada says it is pulling its ambassador from Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.
A statement issued by Prime Minister Stephen Harper after an emergency Cabinet meeting says Canada also will boycott meetings leading up to the Group of Eight international economic summit being chaired by Russia in June.
CBC: Ukraine crisis: Harper recalls ambassador, tells Putin to withdraw
In a statement issued following a cabinet meeting held Saturday afternoon, Harper said Canada is recalling its ambassador from Moscow and pulling out of the G8 process being chaired by Russia.
At the same time, Canada is recognizing the legitimacy of the new, pro-Western Ukrainian government.
NYT: Making Russia Pay? It’s Not So Simple
NYT: Kremlin Deploys Military in Ukraine, Prompting Protest by U.S.
Daily Beast: Exclusive: Russian ‘Blackwater’ Takes Over Ukraine Airport
CBS: Ukraine puts armed forces on combat alert, warns of war
Kiev – Ukraine put its armed forces on full combat alert on Saturday and warned Russia that any military intervention in the country would lead to war.
After a more than three-hour meeting with security and defense chiefs, Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said there was no justification for what he called Russian aggression against his country.
Russian troops took over Crimea as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine.
Standing beside Turchynov, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said he had urged Russia to return its troops to base in Crimea during a phone call with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and called for talks.
“Military intervention would be the beginning of war and the end of any relations between Ukraine and Russia,” Yatsenyuk told reporters.
Martin also reports that Ukraine’s armed forces have told the American ambassador to Kiev that they do not intend to resist the Russian troop movements.
Panodaily: Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show (The Intercept / Glenn Greenwald: On the Meaning of Journalistic Independence)
The Atlantic: The Conflict in Ukraine: More Complex Than You Might Think
WSJ: Mikheil Saakashvili: Lessons From the Putin Wars
“Nobody knows quite what to do here, and it’s really messy,” Mr. Saakashvili says, “and Putin knows exactly what to do.” The Georgian has never hidden his contempt for the Russian leader, but his reading of Mr. Putin has been validated daily as the drama has played out.
“What does he want here? Chaos,” Mr. Saakashvili says. “He has good chances here this time to really chop up Ukraine. It’s going toward big-scale conflict. Big, big internal conflict. He’ll stir up trouble in some of the Ukrainian regions. It’s a very crucial moment. Russia will try to Balkanize Ukraine.”
In a 2005 speech, Mr. Putin said “the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century” and “a genuine tragedy” that “tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.” With its 46 million people and the seat of ancient Kiev Rus, Ukraine was the most painful loss for the Russian imperium. In a private conversation with George W. Bush in 2008, Mr. Putin averred that Ukraine wasn’t a real state.
“Putin never just says things,” says Mr. Saakashvili, who met with him often before the 2008 war. “Ukraine is a ‘territory’ to him and a territory needs to be divided. The problem with Putin is not just that he’s a revisionist. He’s revanchist. That’s why it’s a clash of interests. He wants it back.” [So, to Putin, it’s still *The Ukraine*, too.]
Empire Burlesque: Sinister Illusions: Masking Tragedy in Ukraine
Breitbart / tendentious obliviousness: Palin Mocked in 2008 for Warning Putin May Invade Ukraine if Obama Elected – also, Zero Hedge: And The Person Who Foresaw It All Is…
CNN: Kerry condemns Russia’s ‘invasion and occupation’ of Ukrainian territory
“… The troops are already there, and their number is increasing every hour,” Sergeyev said during an emergency meeting of the Security Council.
Russia now has 15,000 troops in Ukraine’s Crimea region, Yegor Pyvovarov, the spokesman for the Ukraine mission at the United Nations, told CNN ahead of Saturday’s session of the Security Council. He did not say how Ukraine arrived at that number, or whether that included troops already stationed at a Russian base in the region.
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, rejected Ukraine’s calls to stop Russian intervention. “We can’t agree with this at all,” he said.
He blamed members of the European Union for causing the bloody street demonstrations in Ukraine.
“It’s a difficult situation in the past few hours,” Churkin said, claiming that there were Ukrainian forces from Kiev en route to to overthrow the local pro-Russian governments in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and establish new ones that would enforce the power of the new Ukrainian government.
Churkin has said reports of Russian troops taking charge of positions on the ground were rumors and noted that rumors “are always not true.”
Slate: Crimean Foreshadowing
Slate: Crimea and Punishment – previously linked, but with that title, I couldn’t help myself
NYRB, Timothy Snyder: Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda
Zero Hedge: Ukraine Crisis News Summary (More links!)
Zero Hedge: Russia vs Ukraine: The Infographic
BBC: Foreign Secretary William Hague to visit Ukraine
Al Jazeera: In Crimea, citizens stand for self defense and Mother Russia
Al Jazeera: Mapping Ukraine’s identity crisis
Reuters: Russian servicemen confiscate weapons in Crimea region – Interfax