With the ousting of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, many in the West might be forgiven for thinking that the standoff in the Ukraine was over, but news overnight of armed gunmen storming the Crimean Parliament and raising the Russian flag is a warning that this matter is far from settled.
The BBC reports that the gunmen were cheered by pro-Russian demonstrators and the “the protest leader proclaimed: ‘We’ve been waiting for this moment for 20 years. We want a united Russia.'”
Crimea is a Russian-leaning region in the Ukraine but it is a test for the new government of interim President Oleksandr Turchynov, who was approved by the Ukranian Parliament overnight and warned that there were “dangerous signs of separatism” in some parts of the country.
Already this week Russian President Vladimir Putin put his troops in the west of Russia on alert, ordering war games to test their readiness.
It’s the question of the readiness for what which has NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen so worried he took to twitter to ask Russia to take a step back.
Other Western leaders are also warning the Russian Bear to stay in his cave, with US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel saying that Russia should not take “any steps that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation, during a very delicate time”.
A delicate time indeed.
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