Category Archives: Ukraine

Crimea Vote Doesn’t Offer ‘No’ Option For Joining Russia


Sunday’s vote in Ukraine’s Crimea is being officially billed as a chance for the peninsula’s peoples to decide fairly and freely their future – but in fact there is no room on the ballot paper for voting “Nyet” to control by Russia.

The Crimean voter will have the right to choose only one of two options in the March 16 referendum which the region’s pro-Russian leadership, protected by Russian forces, announced earlier this month.

Source: Huff Post            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Ukraine

Ukraine’s Crimea Seeks To Become Independent State

Russ Flag

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The Crimean parliament has voted that the Black Sea peninsula will declare itself an independent state if its residents vote to split off from Ukraine and join Russia in a referendum on Sunday.

Crimea’s regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a “declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.”

The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote in favor of joining Russia in the referendum.

Source: Huff Post            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker: Ukraine

Ukraine May Go Nuclear


A member of the Ukraine Parliament has advised USA TODAY that the country will have no other option but to return as a nuclear power if the US and other allies do not address the current situation.  Without the US, Great Britain and others keeping their promise to uphold Ukraine’s boundaries, the country would have no other option than to protect itself. The leaders in Kiev are waiting on the US and other leaders to act.

The United States, Great Britain and Russia agreed in a pact “to assure Ukraine’s territorial integrity” in return for Ukraine giving up a nuclear arsenal it inherited from the Soviet Union after declaring independence in 1991, said Pavlo Rizanenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament.

“We gave up nuclear weapons because of this agreement,” said Rizanenko, a member of the Udar Party headed by Vitali Klitschko, a candidate for president. “Now there’s a strong sentiment in Ukraine that we made a big mistake.”

Source:  USA TODAY       Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Ukraine

Are Russians in Kherson?

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin may have more than Crimea on his mind.   Ukrainians in Kherson are reporting that Russian operatives are in the area. This development would mean that Putin has greater plans for Ukraine than just the Black Sea Ports.  

Residents of the village of Chonhar, in the Kherson region of Ukraine, say Russian troops showed up last week in armored personnel carriers, prompting the dispatch of Ukrainian troops and a standoff.  The suspected Russian troops pulled back and established a checkpoint on a major road leading north from the Crimean capital of Simferopol.

Source:  FoxNews            Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Ukraine

Ukraine in Crisis: President and VP go on Vacation

In spite of the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, Both President Obama and Vice President Biden are keeping their weekend vacation plans.  Undeterred by over 30,000 troops in Crimea, both individuals felt no need to change their schedule.  White House officials stated that they were comfortable that President Obama could handle any upcoming crisis away from the White House.

The White House brushed off concerns Friday that, with the crisis in Crimea intensifying, now might not be the best time for President Obama — and his vice president — to go on vacation.

The travel schedules of both the president and Vice President Biden have come under scrutiny, given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine. Obama, already in Florida to talk about education, was planning to spend some family time this weekend in Key Largo, Fla., where he arrived late in the day. Biden, meanwhile, will be in the Virgin Islands. 


Source: FoxNews             Contributor: Joseph St. John
News Tracker:  Ukraine

US Warship Arrives Near Ukraine

The US Destroyer Truxtun arrived in the Black Sea near the Ukraine where recent local deadly clashes among local rivals has attracted Russian troops.  Now US troops are being relocated to the region.  Earlier this past week, the US sent 12 F-16 fighter aircraft and 300 troop to Poland for a “training exercise” in response to the Ukraine crisis.  A few days prior to this, the US sent six F-15 fighters and a KC-130 in-air refueling aircraft to Lithuania to join air patrols in the Baltic States.

   black_sea_map  baltic_states_map

The Russian government-funded RT news network charged that the Truxtun’s presence during the Ukraine and Crimea crisis was part of a U.S. buildup in support of Ukraine.  Citing previous U.S.-Russian naval faceoffs in the Black Sea, RT reported that the “American battleship is highly unlikely to get anywhere near the Crimea shores, let alone Sevastopol, without a risk of repeating a hasty exit.” in a reference to a 1988 incident with the Yorktown and Caron US naval ships side-swiped by Russian ships which caused minor damage.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has described the surrounding troops as Crimean “self-defense forces.” The U.S. has estimated that at least 20,000 Russian troops are in Crimea.  U.S. leaders have described any attempt to annex Crimea as illegal, but in a Kremlin statement Sunday, Putin said the referendum was “based on international law and aimed at guaranteeing the legitimate interests of the peninsula’s population.”

In Kiev, acting Ukrainian Defense Minister Ihor Tenyukh issued a list of locations in Crimea where Russian forces were blockading Ukrainian forces.

Additional info:                 News Tracker:  Ukraine