Things are moving at lightning speed. As these kinds of world fuckups normally do. A roundup of where we stand right now.
Business Week: Russia Approves Use of Military as Ukraine Slams Invasion
Russia’s parliament approved the use of its military in Ukraine after Russian troops seized facilities in that country’s Crimea region, prompting the government in Kiev to say it was being invaded.
Heeding a request by President Vladimir Putin to protect ethnic Russians, lawmakers in Moscow voted unanimously to send troops to its neighbor, according to a vote today broadcast by Rossiya 24. The upper chamber was also preparing a request for Putin to recall Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said. In Kiev, governing politician Vitali Klitschko called for Ukraine to mobilize its army and consider ousting Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from its Crimean base.
Reuters: Britain says Russian moves ‘potentially grave threat’ to Ukraine
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday that Russian action was a “potentially grave threat” to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
Hague said he had spoken to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to urge steps to calm the situation, and had sent a summons to the Russian ambassador to register Britain’s concern.
“I am deeply concerned at the escalation of tensions in Ukraine, and the decision of the Russian parliament to authorize military action on Ukrainian soil against the wishes of the Ukrainian Government,” Hague said in a statement.
“We condemn any act of aggression against Ukraine.”
The Telegraph: Ukraine live: Security Council to meet tonight amid worsening crisis
The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting at 19.00 GMT, following Russia’s green light for Vladimir Putin to use force in Ukraine. Vitali Klitschko urges “national mobilisation” in face of “Russian aggression” as violent protests break out in the east. All the latest news from Ukraine here
Boston Globe: At heart of Ukraine drama, a tale of two countries
In the afternoon, when the shift ends at the coal mine and the miners walk out into the cold and past the old concrete statue of Lenin, they often head to a tiny corner store a block away. There they’ll stand in the parking lot for a while, drinking little bottles of the vodka called ‘‘Truthful.’’
They know what is happening in Kiev, the capital city that can seem so far away. They’ve seen pictures of the democracy protesters shot dead in Kiev’s streets, and the TV reports on the mansions of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, the one-time thug and pro-Russia politician who grew up in this far-eastern city. They watched from afar this week as protesters, many from western Ukraine, helped form the country’s new government.
They don’t like it at all.
‘‘I have always felt that we are so different,’’ said a miner who gave his name only as Nikolai, a thickset 35-year-old who went from high school directly into the mines. People speak Russian across most of Ukraine’s east, and worship in onion-domed Orthodox churches. They were shaped by 70 years of Soviet rule and its celebration of socialist industrialization, and by the Russian empire before that. To them, the government is now being run by outsiders who care little for this side of the country. ‘‘If they try to pressure us, our region will revolt.’’
His words are echoed — except for a few key words — in a conversation 800 miles (1,250 kilometers) to the west, in a medieval cobblestoned city, Ukrainian-speaking residents and houses displaying the EU flag and its yellow stars.
‘‘We are simply different people from those living in the East,’’ said Ludmila Petrova, a university student in Lviv, a hotbed of support for Ukraine’s pro-democracy forces and opposition to Yanukovych. ‘‘They don’t know what the West is. We have a different history. Maybe it is better that we separate once and for all.’’
Keep chatting. Stay frosty.