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
Biden Blasts Russia: Stop 'Hiding Behind Masks'
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)

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." (More Joe Biden stories.)

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