The Russian foreign ministry has finally admitted that Russian troops have entered the Crimean region. The Russians claim the military offensive was simply a mission to “protect Black Sea Fleet’s positions.” Vladimir Putin has put out a statement that said authorities in the restive Crimean region of Ukraine had appealed for humanitarian aid and that he had directed the Russian government to consider the request, “including possibilities for the Russian regions to provide assistance."
The Telegraph is reporting that 20 men wearing Black Sea Fleet uniforms have surrounded a Ukrainian border guard post. The Telegraph goes on to state that a Reuters reporter in the Balaklava district saw Ukrainian border police in
helmets and riot gear shut inside the border post, with a metal gate pulled
shut and metal riot shields placed behind the windows as protection. A servicemen who identified himself as an officer of the Black Sea Fleet said: "We
are here ... so as not to have a repeat of the Maidan."
It is also being reported that Russian soldiers have now blocked Ukrainian air traffic control, it's unclear if this is meant to prevent the arrival of Ukrainian soldiers. The BBC has reported that at least five Russian Il-76 planes have landed at a military airport in
Gvardiysky, near Simferopol, Ukrainska Pravda internet newspaper reports
citing eyewitnesses. Reports also say a column of Russian armored
personnel carriers is heading towards Simferopol. This comes on the heals of a video purporting to show twelve Russian MI-24 and MI-83 combat
helicopters flying over Sevastopol in Crimea.
Video HERE and HERE.
|Russian troops block the road way towards the military airport at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea|
|The State Border Guard in the Ukraine has said Russian Marines have surrounded a coast guard base.|
Video HERE and HERE.
It appears Russian lawmakers are paving the way for the breakup of Ukraine. The lawmakers say they plan to submit a bill to parliament that would make it easier for new territories to join the Russian Federation. Russia has also said it will give Russian passports to members of Ukraine's Berkut (disbanded riot police). It is being reported that some worried politicians in the Ukraine parliament have pleaded with the UK and the US to come to their rescue. I would tell these politicians not to hold their breath, because help will not be forthcoming from Barack Obama, Britain or even NATO for that matter. Sovietesque Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will do what he wants in the Ukraine and the West will be unable, or unwilling to do anything about it.
Keep up with LIVE coverage at the Telegraph and the BBC.
Above photographs originally posted at The Telegraph.