Russia Convoy Rolls; Ukraine PM Blasts 'Declaration of War'

Gunmen surround military base in Crimea
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2014 6:34 AM CST
Soldiers of the armed forces of Ukraine walk near the General staff headquarters in Sevastopol, Sunday, March 2, 2014.   (AP Photo/Andrew Lubimov)
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(Newser) – The war of words and the military posturing are only escalating today in Ukraine, where PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned Vladimir Putin to call off his troops amid dire warnings that Russia's military advance was akin to "a declaration of war" and that the two nations "are on the brink of disaster." His words appeared to fall on deaf ears, as the AP spotted a Russian military convoy consisting of 13 troop carriers with 30 soldiers apiece, as well as four armored vehicles. That convoy has apparently surrounded a military base in Crimea, with "hundreds of unidentified gunmen" preventing Ukrainian troops within from leaving. The vehicles bore Russian plates, notes the AP. Elsewhere in Ukraine:

  • Ukraine has closed its airspace to non-civilian aircraft, reports the BBC, and is mobilizing its armed forces into "full combat readiness." Be that as it may, it's also looking for US and the UK help. Meanwhile, NATO is meeting, with that body's secretary-general condemning "Russia's military activities in Crimea" as "threatening peace and security in Europe."
  • Speaking after a closed session of parliament, CNN reports that Yatsenyuk said demanded that Putin "pull back the military and stick to international obligations."

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