Updated 12:24 EST
Reuters is now reporting that “after a day of escalating rhetoric and activity, a Kremlin spokesman says that Russia hopes there will be no further escalation and that Putin has not yet decided if he will send troops into Ukraine.”
Alarms across the globe sounded off after the Russian parliament greenlit a request by Russian President Vladamir Putin to employ the Russian military “in defense of Russians and Russian interests” in Ukraine.
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The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting Saturday on the escalating crisis.
In Ukraine, opposition leader and likely presidential candidate, Vitaly Klitschko, called for a “general mobilization” and nationalist opposition groups called on their members to “mobilize and arm themselves.”
The situation in Ukraine continues to unravel Saturday as Russia’s federation council approved a request by Russian President Vladamir Putin to use armed force in Ukraine.
“Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea,” AP reports.
Speeches ahead of the vote revealed “unanimous” support “to use armed forces in defense of Russians and Russian interests, anywhere in the territory of Ukraine.”
Following the overthrow last weekend of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea has become the focus of the crisis. Crimea has largely shown support for the deposed Yanukovych, in opposition to what they call a ‘coup’ orchestrated by anti-democratic elements, western interference, and neo-fascists in Kiev.
Twitter continued to capture live coverage of the heightening tensionsand reactions from the international community:
Tweets from https://twitter.com/commondreams/on-ukraine
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