Ousted Ukrainian Viktor Yanukovych is set to speak at 8:00 a.m. EST from the southern Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don, where he is under Kremlin protection.
On Thursday Yanukovych asserted that he is still the legitimate president of Ukraine.
Russia has not acknowledged the new government in Kiev, besides the foreign ministry spokesman saying that “a ‘government of winners’ which includes representatives of the extreme nationalists is being created.”
Here’s what’s happening today:
- Russian troops have taken over two Crimean airports. Ukrainian authorities confronted the armed men at the international airport. The soldiers responded by saying: “We do not have instructions to negotiate with you.
- Ukraine’s acting president Oleksandr V. Turchynov said: “Terrorists with automatic weapons, judged by our special services to be professional soldiers, tried to take control of the airport in Crimea.”
- Ukraine’s acting security chief said that a state of emergency might be declared in Crimea.
- The country’s coast guard base is surrounded by about 30 Russian marines.
- Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said: “I consider what is happening to be an armed invasion and an occupation.”
- A Swiss prosecutor opened a money laundering investigation into Yanukovich and his son Oleksander. Their assets were frozen.
- Ukraine’s Prosecutor General ordered the detention of 10 top former government, security, and military officials on suspicion of mass murder during the crackdown on protesters in Kiev.
Given the circumstances, it will be interesting to hear what Yanukovych has to say.
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