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2200 GMT: The UNSC meeting is now closed – A quick analysis — Russia has finally spelled out exactly what its given justification for invading Crimea is. According to their logic:
The EU, the UK, and the US incited the protests and fueled the revolt.
Yanukovych signed a deal with the opposition politicians that would keep him in power until, at least, early elections in December.
The “armed militants” broke this agreement by taking over government buildings, therefore:
Yanukovych is the legitimate leader of Ukraine and the people in charge are radicals,
“Kiev,” the catchphrase for these radicals ho are now running the country, is sending provocateurs to takeover government buildings in Crimea (interjection — there is literally no evidence that this is true).
The government of Crimea has asked Russia to send troops to restore order, and Russia has done so unilaterally because the West helped conspire to remove a democratically-elected government and put these radicals in charge.
The bottom line: the international community needs to help remove the radicals and enforce the February 21st agreement (which, by the way, would require reinstating Yanukovych back as President).
If this is not done, Russian troops will defend Crimea, and possibly attack Kiev to make it happen.
Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is an international treaty signed on 5 December 1994 in the Hungarian capital Budapest by Ukraine, the United States of America, Russia, and the United Kingdom concerning the nuclear disarmament of Ukraine and its security relationship with the signatory countries.
According to the memorandum, Russia, the USA, and the UK confirmed, in recognition of Ukraine becoming party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and in effect abandoning its nuclear arsenal to Russia, that they would:
1.Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders.
2.Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine.
3.Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics.
4.Seek United Nations Security Council action if nuclear weapons are used against Ukraine.
5.Refrain from the use of nuclear arms against Ukraine.
6.Consult with one another if questions arise regarding these commitments.
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine – Associated Press journalists on Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula have seen a convoy of hundreds of Russian troops heading toward the regional capital, Simferopol.
On the road from Sevastopol, the Crimean port where Russia maintains a naval base, to Simferopol on Sunday morning, AP journalists saw 12 military trucks carrying troops, a Tiger vehicle armed with a machine gun and also two ambulances.
Ukrainian armed forces dispatched to Crimea have started resigning on a massive scale, reports RIA Novosti.
Living quarters, weapons and ammunition have all been left under the protection of the so-called ‘self-defense forces,’ according to Interfax sources.
Since Thursday, the city’s Supreme Council and a number of other buildings have been occupied and guarded by the self-defense forces run by the local population.
Crimea’s deputy prime minister, Rustam Temirgaliev, announced earlier that the Ukrainian armed forces have all but surrendered their military capabilities and that no active units remain in the Crimea.
Ukraine has placed its military on full combat alert and called up all its reserves after Russia gave the go-ahead to send more troops into the country.
Ukraine's parliament called for international monitors to help protect its nuclear power plants
Hryhoriy Nemyria, a member of parliament, said the assembly appealed to the signatories of a 1994 nuclear treaty that guaranteed Ukraine's safety -- including the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia. [Reuters]
Ukraine’s autonomous republic of Crimea wants Kiev to stay out of its business, and put its own house in order instead, the Crimean parliament speaker has said, adding that local authorities can take care of local business without the capital.
The speaker advised Kiev against using force to attempt to take control of Crimea or any other region resisting it. He said such a move would end with the new authorities having no region to call their own in Ukraine.
Ukraine PM accuses Russia of declaring war on the country. [AFP]
Ukraine PM: 'We are on the brink of disaster'. [AFP]