In a stunning 24 hours, it now appears that Russia and the Ukraine are one formal announcement away from a state of war. From moments ago, as reported by Bloomberg:
- UKRAINE ACTING PRESIDENT PUTS ALL FORCES ON FULL COMBAT ALERT
And this, as reported by the NYT, virtually assures the escalation to a hot war, as some provocation, somewhere will certainly take place: "a Ukrainian military official in Crimea said Ukrainian soldiers had been told to “open fire” if they came under attack by Russia troops or others."
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 defence chiefs, Acting President Oleksander Turchinov said there was no justification for what he called Russian aggression against his country.
Standing beside Turchinov, Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said he had urged Russia to return its troops to base in the Crimea region 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," Yatseniuk told reporters.
- Ukraine protects all Ukrainians, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov says in Kiev briefing.
- Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk: “diverting funds for military”
- Turchynov: untrue that Russians are under threat
- Turchynov: no reason for Putin request
- Turchynov calls for national unity
- Yatsenyuk says to take all measures to ensure peace
- Yatsenyuk: no reason for Russia to intervene in Ukraine