Will Blood Be Shed In Crimea Before Diplomacy Can Work?

Russian and Crimean flags were being waved during a pro-Russia rally Sunday in Simferopol's Lenin Square. Simferopol is the capital of Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine. Filippo Monteforte /AFP/Getty Images

Russian and Crimean flags were being waved during a pro-Russia rally Sunday in Simferopol’s Lenin Square. Simferopol is the capital of Crimea, an autonomous region of Ukraine. Filippo Monteforte /AFP/Getty Images

Russia continues to try to wrest control of Crimea from Ukraine and now has an estimated 20,000 troops there, Bloomberg News reports.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again deflected the concerns of Western leaders. Reuters reports that, according to the Kremlin, Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday that Russia’s actions in Crimea are “based on international law and aimed at guaranteeing the legitimate interests of the peninsula’s population.”

This latest news comes after Sunday’s reports about pro-Russian groups using whips to attack pro-Ukrainian demonstrators in Sevastopol, the key port city on the Crimean Peninsula.

As of Monday afternoon in Crimea, there had been no confrontations between Russian and Ukrainian troops. The critical question now, as NPR’s Emily Harris reports from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, is whether serious violence will flare up — either between civilians or the Ukrainian and Russian forces — before diplomacy can bring about some sort of resolution to the crisis in Crimea.

As we’ve previously written:

While it is part of Ukraine, Crimea is a largely autonomous region with its own parliament. The majority of its people are Russian-speaking. Russia maintains a large naval base on the Black Sea peninsula.

Since last month’s ouster of Russia-leaning Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, after several months of protests over alleged corruption and his decision to reject closer economic ties to the European Union, Crimea has been at the center of an international crisis.

On Wednesday, interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is due to meet with President Obama at the White House. He says he will address the U.N. Security Council on Thursday.

Putin has said he believes the current leaders in Ukraine seized power illegally. The White House has said Yanukovych effectively abdicated his right to lead Ukraine and believes the interim government is legitimate because it was put in place by an elected parliament.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.image
Read original article – Published March 10, 2014 8:30 AM
Will Blood Be Shed In Crimea Before Diplomacy Can Work?

Recent headlines

  • Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. (Photo courtesy Whitehouse.gov)

    3 things for Alaskans to know about Trump’s budget

    President Trump is proposing to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. That’s one detail from the budget the White House delivered to Congress Tuesday. The document fleshes out the “blueprint” released in March.
  • Regulators to hold hearing in Juneau over garbage contract transfer

    Juneau residents will have a rare opportunity this week to sound off over trash service. The company that runs curbside pick up has been acquired by Waste Connections, a Canada-based business with customers in 39 states and five provinces.
  • A few of the couple thousand walrus hauled out at Cape Grieg north of Ugashik Bay in June 2016. Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say the walrus are back this year, but have not said yet how many. (Photo by KDLG)

    Cape Greig walrus are back; Fish and Game plans change fishery boundary again

    The Department of Fish and Game will pull the north line of the Ugashik District back away from the haulout site again, Salomone said, the same as last year. The exact coordinates will be published with the first announcement from Fish and Game about June 1.
  • Navy to scan Kodiak waters for WWII explosives

    The Navy will scan Kodiak and Unalaska waters for World War II-era munitions using underwater drones next month, as part of an ongoing effort to eventually remove the explosives. What could happen and whether the historic weapons would detonate is unclear.
X