Biden Blasts Russia: Stop 'Hiding Behind Masks'

Says US will never recognize Crimea annexation

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 22, 2014 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – Russia's annexation of Crimea may seem like a done deal, but the US isn't about to recognize it, Joe Biden vowed today. The vice president is in Kiev to show support for the government there, and today he promised financial aid, help weaning Ukraine off Russia's suddenly expensive energy, and non-lethal security help, CNN reports. He admonished Russia to "stop supporting men hiding behind masks and unmarked uniforms," and warned that further sanctions could be coming if Moscow's activities in Eastern Ukraine don't stop. "No nation has the right to simply grab land from another nation," Biden said. "We will never recognize Russia's illegal occupation of Crimea."

That occupation is not going well. The New York Times has a piece today detailing the "perpetual confusion" that characterizes the hastily annexed region. The banks, courts, and other institutions are shutdown, as are many companies. Seemingly unofficial "self-defense units" are conducting random inspections at train stations and other entry points. "Before we had a pretty well-organized country," one resident says, adding the Russian phrase "Eto bardak," which roughly translates to, "This is a mess."

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk smile for the cameras during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, April. 22, 2014.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk smile for the cameras during a meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, April. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, April. 22, 2014.
US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, April. 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov, Pool)
A pro Russian supporter with his face covered, holds a Russian flag in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.
A pro Russian supporter with his face covered, holds a Russian flag in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, April 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
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