Russia’s upper house of parliament on Saturday approved Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy Russian troops in Ukraine, but the president has yet to decide if Russia will take action.
To follow today's events on the situation in Ukraine as they happened, please read on below. (Click here if you are using a tablet or a smartphone)
- The international community has mobilised in response to mounting tensions between Kiev and Moscow. The UN Security Council has called a special session to address the issue in New York. NATO’s principal political decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, has convened a meeting for Sunday to discuss the Ukraine crisis, while EU foreign ministers are set to hold crisis talks on the issue on Monday.
- French President François Hollande and US President Barack Obama have been particularly active in seeking to mitigate the looming crisis. In a phone call with the latter, Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced "criminal actions" committed by "ultra-nationalists" in Ukraine, while Obama called for a peaceful solution. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called for international observers in Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s prime minister says he is confident Russia will not invade, but says if it does, it would lead to war and mark an end to any relations with Moscow. He called for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
- Ukrainian army is on combat alert, according to Ukraine’s interim president. He also says security has been boosted around airports and nuclear facilities.
- Putin’s spokesman says the Russian president has not yet decided whether to deploy troops in Ukraine.
- Russia’s upper house unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops in Ukraine.
- Responding to the approval, Ukrainian former heavyweight boxing champion-turned politician Vitaly Klitschko called for a “national mobilization” in the face of “Russian aggression”.
- The speaker of Russia’s upper house has also said parliament will ask Putin to recall the Russian ambassador to the US.
- Earlier Saturday, Ukraine’s defense minister said Russia had recently deployed an additional 6,000 troops into Ukraine.
- Unidentified armed men continued to take control of key sites in the Crimean peninsula including the regional parliament building, state TV and telecommunication hubs.
- Russia continued to formally deny involvement in the deployment.
Foreign ministers of Poland, France and Germany expressed concern over the escalating crisis. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Russia to explain its intentions regarding its troops in Crimea. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has said he will visit Kiev on Sunday.
- The pro-Russian prime minister of the Crimea region claimed control of all military and other security services in the region and appealed to Putin for help in keeping peace there.
Date created : 2014-03-01