The Crimean Peninsula is in the southeast corner of Ukraine and is still home to Russia's Black Sea fleet. It was one of the last strongholds of support for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, who Russian media say has fled to Moscow for protection.
Pro-Russia separatists and supporters of Ukraine's new leaders confronted each other on Wednesday (February 26) outside Crimea's regional parliament before a debate on the political upheaval that swept away President Viktor Yanukovich. About 2,000 people, many of them ethnic Tatars who are the indigenous group on the Black Sea peninsula, converged on the parliament building to support the 'Euro-Maidan' movement which overturned Yanukovich in Kiev after three months of protests.
Ukraine’s new leaders accused neighbor Russia of declaring war, as Kiev mobilized troops and called up military reservists in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of a conflict. Amid signs of Russian military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, Russian generals led their troops to three bases in the region Sunday, demanding Ukrainian forces surrender and hand over their weapons, Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Crimean Media Center of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
Ukraine's Crimean peninsula declared itself an independent nation Monday after its residents voted overwhelmingly to secede and join Russia, while the U.S. and European Union announced new sanctions against Russia for backing the referendum. (March 17)
Russia's Black Sea fleet is on the move in Ukraine. Soldiers are protecting Russian properties in Crimea, where the fleet is based. Fleet officials also fear reprisals against the 60,000 Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Russian nationals living in Sevastopol, Ukraine. Some residents there are signing up for self-defense groups. The fear of reprisals stems from the geopolitical nature of the country.
Russia is unlikely to pull back its military forces in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, analysts and former Obama administration officials say, forcing the United States and Europe into a more limited strategy of trying to prevent President Vladimir Putin from making advances elsewhere in the former Soviet republic. It's an unsettling scenario for President Barack Obama, who is under pressure to show he has leverage over Putin in a deepening conflict between East and West.
This is Ukraine's Perevalnoye (Pe-re-val-nye) military base in Crimea, where there's been a tense standoff with Russian forces surrounding the base. Russian troops have effectively seized the mostly-Russian speaking Crimea peninsula, where Moscow has a crucial naval base.
The crisis in Ukraine took a Cold War tone on Monday. Russian forces were completing their seizure of the Russian-speaking Crimean peninsula, where Moscow maintains an important naval base. In Belgium, the European Union scrambled an emergency meeting to find a diplomatic solution. EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton.