Crimea Politician: 'This Is Now Russian Territory'

The Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea has asked to join Russia, and Russia is preparing a bill to (potentially) approve the request.

The moves accelerates the Ukraine crisis, which has become a huge international problem, and undercuts efforts by the U.S. to de-escalate the situation through talks with the Kremlin.

As explained by Alissa Carbonnel of Reuters: “Far from seeking a diplomatic way out, Putin appears to have chosen to create facts on the ground before the West can agree on more than token action against him.”

Shaun Walker, the Moscow correspondent for The Guardian, has been on the ground in Crimea for the last week and tweeted a conversation he had with a Crimean politician:


And here’s Walker commenting how fast things have been moving on the strategic Black Sea peninsula:

He added a joke referring to the Crimean government’s choice to move the referendum from May 25 to March 30 to March 16:

Previously the referendum was about autonomy, but it appears that the Kremlin-friendly government in Crimea has decided on full secession.

The new government in Kiev says that the move would be illegitimate, but it’s not clear what they can do with Russian soldiers in control of the entire peninsula.

“The authorities in Crimea are totally illegitimate, both the parliament and the government. They are forced to work under the barrel of a gun and all their decisions are dictated by fear and are illegal,” Acting President Oleksander Turchinov’s spokeswoman quoted him as saying.

UkraineREUTERS/Vasily FedosenkoA uniformed man, believed to be a Russian serviceman, stands guard near a Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalnoye, outside Simferopol, March 6, 2014.

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