The scuttled decommissioned Russian vessel Ochakov lays on it’s side off the Black Sea shore outside the town of Myrnyi, western Crimea, Ukraine. The wreck blockades access for five Ukrainian naval vessels from entering the Black Sea. Photo: AP Photo
“He asked me to invite all the officers and suggested that we collectively take up the Russian military allegiance oath and become part of the Black Sea fleet … promising good pay and a bright future,” Shmiganovsky said in an interview. “He insisted we do that to help protect Ukraine from extremist gangs.”
Ukrainian Colonel Andriy Matviyenko said about 200 Russian officers and soldiers arrived late on Tuesday night at the gate of a Ukrainian anti-aircraft brigade stationed in the resort city of Yevpatoria, about 96 kilometres northwest of Sevastopol. They made no attempt to hide their Russian military identity.
“Their commander introduced himself as Colonel Dyatlov, commander of a Russian anti-aircraft unit, who demanded that we open up the gates, let him and his men in and allow them to put our anti-aircraft missiles back on duty under the control and guidance of the Russian armed forces,” – Source
One day after John Kerry met with the foreign minister of Russia and said he was optimistic a diplomatic solution could be reached within a couple of days, the Crimea parliament voted to secede from the Ukraine. Note the Russian foreign minister Kerry met was the exact same person that lied to Kerry a week ago about respecting the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine.
Authorities in Crimea voted on Thursday to accelerate secession from Ukraine, unanimously backing a law that declared the territory to be part of the Russian Federation.
In a move that drew howls of outrage from the new leadership in Kiev, MPs voted by 78 votes to nil for the territory to leave Ukraine
Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Rustam Temirgaliev, said the referendum was now only to "confirm" parliament’s decision, and he considered Crimea to be part of Russia already. He said that all Ukrainian troops on the territory should either leave or be treated as occupiers. Crimea is planning to introduce the rouble and readopt Russian state symbols.
Russian president Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia was "not considering" annexing Crimea, but on Thursday, Sergei Mironov, a Russian MP, said the Duma, Russia’s parliament, could consider the issue as early as next week. – Source
Earlier this week, Mr. Putin said Russia wasn’t looking to annex Crimea and said that "only the citizens themselves can determine their own future." On Thursday, the Kremlin said Mr. Putin had discussed the possibility of Crimea becoming part of Russia during a meeting of his security council.
In Moscow, the Russian parliament was preparing to move up consideration of a draft law that would ease the annexation of new territories to Russia and officials said it could be passed in time for the referendum. – Wall Street Journal
Putin said on Tuesday, he wasn’t considering annexing Crimea. Yet only two days later Crimea secession motions are all going forward from the Crimea parliament vote today, to pulling up the referendum date, to military sea blockades, to Putin talking to his security team about secession, and Russian parliament legislation.
One has to be insanely naïve to think Putin didn’t plan this all along.