Saturday, March 1, 2014
Ukrainian army put on combat Alert, Ukraine’s Navy flagship Defects
Update: 2014 March 02
Armed servicemen wait near Russian army vehicles in the Crimean town of Balaclava on March 1, 2014
Source: Press TV
The Ukrainian army has been put on a combat alert as the interim president says any Russia’s military intervention will lead to a war in the crisis-hit country.
Ukraine’s acting President Oleksandr Turchynov made the announcement on Saturday after meeting with the country’s security and defense chiefs.
Turchynov warned Russia against military intervention, saying such a move could lead to a war.
He also added that there was no justification for what he called Russian aggression.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said he had urged Russia, in a phone call with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, to return its troops to their base in Ukraine’s autonomous region of Crimea.
Earlier in the day, the Russian parliament approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy troops into Crimea.
"The Duma Council adopted an appeal to the president of Russia, in which parliamentarians are calling on the president to take measures to stabilize the situation in Crimea and use all available means to protect the people of the Crimea from tyranny and violence," Lower House Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said.
The developments came after Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksenov asked Putin to help restore peace and calm in the region.
The mission in Crimea is necessary to protect ethnic Russians, and the troops in the peninsula known as the Black Sea Fleet, Putin said.
Putin has yet to decide on the troop deployment. But reports emerging from the region show two Russian anti-submarine warships have appeared off the Ukraine coast.
Source: Press TV
US Republican Senator John McCain has called on the Obama administration to take action against Russian President Vladimir Putin over the crisis in Ukraine.
During a speech on Friday, President Barack Obama said he is “deeply concerned” by reports Moscow had sent troops into Ukraine’s Crimea region and warned that “there will be costs” for any military intervention in Ukraine.
In a statement on Saturday, the US senator said President Obama should "articulate exactly what those costs will be and to take steps urgently to impose them."
"None of us should be under any illusion about what President Putin is capable of doing in Ukraine," McCain said.
"Every moment that the United States and our allies fail to respond sends the signal to President Putin that he can be even more ambitious and aggressive in his military intervention in Ukraine," he added.
"There is a range of serious options at our disposal at this time without the use of military force," the hawkish Arizona senator said.
Earlier on Saturday, the Russian parliament approved Putin’s request to deploy troops into the autonomous region of Crimea.
According to Putin, the mission is necessary to protect ethnic Russians and the military base in Crimea known as the Black Sea Fleet.
The Russian president has yet to decide on the troop deployment, but reports emerging from the region show two Russian anti-submarine warships have appeared off the Ukraine coast.
Meanwhile, US Senator Bob Corker called for immediate sanctions against Russia.
"Vladimir Putin is seizing a neighboring territory — again — so President Obama must lead a meaningful, unified response," Corker said in a statement.
The Ukrainian Krivak class frigate Hetman Sahaydachny (Reuters / Gleb Garanich)
Source: Russia Today
Ukraine’s Navy flagship, the Hetman Sahaidachny frigate, has reportedly refused to follow orders from Kiev, and come over to Russia’s side and is returning home after taking part in NATO operation in the Gulf of Aden flying the Russian naval flag.
There has been conflicting information on where exactly the vessel is, but a Russian senator has confirmed to Izvestia daily that the frigate defected to the Russian side.
“Ukraine’s Navy flagship the Hetman Sahaidachny has come over to our side today. It has hung out the St Andrew’s flag,” Senator Igor Morozov, a member of the committee on the international affairs, told Izvestia daily.
He said the flagship is on its way back to the Black Sea after drills in the Mediterranean. “The crew has fulfilled the order by the chief commander of Ukraine’s armed forces Viktor Yanukovich,” he added.
The move comes after the Navy command resigned Friday. Self-appointed President Aleksandr Turchinov made Rear Admiral Denis Berezovsky the new Navy Chief, a statement published on the President’s website Saturday said.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine had earlier asked his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to let the frigate through the Bosporus strait, according to the Kiev Times. The ship captain and the head of Ukraine’s contingent in the operation, Rear Admiral Andrey Tarasov disobeyed orders from Kiev.
The Hetman Sahaidachny returns to Sevastopol, Crimea after taking part in a joint counter-piracy operation with NATO and the EU off the Horn of Africa, reported UNN on Friday, citing Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. On February 26, after crossing the Suez Canal, the ship entered the Mediterranean Sea and was expected to be in Sevastopol in early March.
Udated: 2014 March 02
Source: Russia Today