Obama Warns Russia Over Ukraine Intervention

President says 'there will be costs' if Moscow uses force

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 28, 2014 4:21 PM CST

(Newser) – After another day of fast-moving and confusing developments in Ukraine, President Obama warned Russia to butt out of that nation's affairs. Obama said "there will be costs" for any military intervention, though he declined to specify what they may be. He said the US is "deeply concerned" about reports that Russia's military already has gotten involved. "It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people." (Read the full transcript at CNN.) Earlier, heavily armed men in military uniform arrived at strategic facilities in Crimea, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of "military invasion and occupation"—a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis.

Russia kept silent on claims of military intervention, even as it maintained its hard-line stance on protecting ethnic Russians in Crimea, a territory that has played a symbolic role in its national identity. Earlier today, Ukraine's fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovich, resurfaced in Russia to deliver a defiant condemnation of what he called a "bandit coup" in Kiev. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Turchynov, who stepped in as president after Yanukovich fled Kiev last weekend, urged Vladimir Putin to stop "provocations" in Crimea and pull back military forces from the peninsula.

Unidentified armed men patrol in front of the airport in Simferopol, Ukraine, Friday.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Ukraine's fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych gives a news conference in Russia.   (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
People attend the funeral of anti-Yanukovich protester Bailuk Alexander, 40, one of those killed in clashes.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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