WASHINGTON — A group of pro-Russia gunmen seized the parliament building in the Crimea region. The region is the only ethnic Russian majority region in Ukraine.
Reuters reported that the gunmen took control of the building and raised the Russian flag. This came after the U.S. challenged Russia to show if they will not intervene in Ukraine, which Russia promised to do.
Ukraine warned Russia of any troop movement and would consider such as an overly aggressive action. However, the event was treated casually, with people dancing to Russian music and policemen not responding to the gunmen. The regional parliament held a session to talk about a referendum regarding the region’s sovereignty.
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted by a vote of the Ukrainian parliament, which enraged Russia. Yanukovich was friendly to Russia, but enraged Ukrainians who sided with the European Union. They disapproved of Yanukovich withdrawing Ukraine from a trade pact with the European Union. These pro-West protesters occupied public buildings throughout the country as well as the capital city of Kiev.
Yanukovich is now in Russia after fleeing Ukraine this past week.