It seems, despite all the market's belief that Putin would go quietly into the night once more, that the situation is escalating:
- *GUNMEN STORM UKRAINE ARMY INSTALLATIONS IN CRIMEA: UKRAINE DEFMIN SELEZNYOV
- *GUNMEN STORMING CRIMEA BUILDINGS SHOOTING IN AIR: SELEZNYOV
- *UKRAINIAN OFFICER WOUNDED BY LIVE AMMUNITION, HAYDUK SAYS
- *ATTACKS ON UKRAINIAN UNITS INCREASING: NAVY CHIEF HAYDUK
Of course, the big question now is how will Ukraine respond? Because attacking (and injuring) citizens sure seems like a red-line someone should not be crossing (although, as per the referendum, that region is now Russian).
Of course there is no confirmation that these are "Russian" troops per se but it is on the heels of news (via Slashdot) that:
this excerpt from The Examiner: "The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) confirmed March 16 the arrest of a group of Russians in the Zaporizhzhia (Zaporozhye) region of Ukraine. The men were armed with firearms, explosives and unspecified 'special technical means'. This follows the March 14 arrest ... of several Russians dressed black uniforms with no insignia, armed with AKS-74 assault rifles and in possession of numerous ID cards under various names. One of which was an ID card of Military Intelligence Directorate of the Russian armed forces; commonly known as 'Spetsnaz'.
And the response by Ukraine has to be weighed based on this statement from the PM:
- *UKRAINE WON'T RECOGNIZE CRIMEA ANNEXATION, TURCHYNOV SAYS
- *UKRAINE SEEKS TO AVOID CRIMEA ESCALATION, HAYDUK SAYS
- *RUSSIAN TROOPS BLOCKING 38 UKRAINE UNITS IN CRIMEA, HAYDUK SAYS
And from ABC's correspondent in Crimea:
Shots fired at a base in Simferopol. #Crimea— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) March 18, 2014
Arrived at military cartography bldg outside Simferopol where shots fired. Police&goons guarding entrance, say nothing. Ambulance out front.— Alexander Marquardt (@MarquardtA) March 18, 2014