WASHINGTON — After receiving perceived threats from Russia and their president Vladimir Putin, Ukraine is mobilizing its troops to defend against a potential invasion by Russian military forces.
Reuters reported that Russian troops apparently moved into the Crimean peninsula unopposed, as the Crimean peninsula operates as an autonomous republic within Ukraine. The majority of the province are ethnic Russians and the province is home to a Russian naval base.
Last week, pro-Russia gunmen peacefully took control of the province’s parliament building and raised a Russian flag.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was granted permission by the Russian parliament to use military force, if necessary, to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine. The U.S. has condemned the intervention of Russian military forces in Crimea and threatened sanctions.
Ukraine’s newest prime minister, Arseny Yatseniuk, said, “This is not a threat: this is actually the declaration of war to my country.” His new pro-Western government was ushered in after the Ukrainian parliament voted out the pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovich, after months of pro-West and anti-Russia protests throughout Ukraine.