COMPLETING THE CRIMEAN LAND GRAB
Attack on Ukrainian Base Leaves at Least One Dead
By Harold Hutchison
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty formally annexing the Ukrainian autonomous republic of Crimea into Russia. The annexation completes the land grab that began shortly after protests ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
According to media reports, Putin moved after recognizing the autonomous republic’s referendum vote in favor of seceding from the Ukraine. Russian troops are surrounding Ukrainian military bases in Crimea, and also scuttled a retired Kara-class cruiser to pin Ukrainian vessels in a port.
The annexation has turned violent, with TheBlaze.com reporting that Russian troops have stormed a Ukrainian base near the Crimean capital of Simferopol. “One Ukrainian serviceman has been wounded in the neck and collarbone. Now we have barricaded ourselves on the second floor. The headquarters has been taken and the commander has been taken. They want us to put down our arms but we do not intend to surrender,” a Ukrainian military spokesman said. The Ukrainian serviceman has now reportedly died of his wounds.
Sanctions against eleven individuals, including Yanukovych, were imposed earlier today. Meanwhile, one member of a congressional delegation that went to the Ukraine noted that the Ukrainian government was begging for arms.
“They wanted arms," the unidentified lawmaker told FoxNews.com, "even recognizing that it could be cited by Putin as an excuse, a provocation for further military action by him. They said Putin's goal has never been Crimea; his goal is Kiev.”
In 2005, Obama called for efforts to help destroy hundreds of thousands of small arms, as well as man-portable surface-to-air missiles and ammunition that the Ukraine had stockpiled.