First we have this from Reuters:
Armed men seize two airports in Ukraine’s Crimea, Russia denies involvement
By Alissa de Carbonnel and Alessandra Prentice | February 28, 2014
SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) – Armed men took control of two airports in the Crimea region on Friday in what Ukraine’s government described as an invasion and occupation by Russian forces, raising tension between Moscow and the West.
Russia’s Black Sea fleet, which is based in the region, denied its forces were involved in seizing one of the airports, Interfax news agency reported, while a supporter described the group at the other site merely as Crimean militiamen. ..
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused Russian naval forces of taking over a military airport near the port of Sevastopol, where the Black Sea fleet has its base, and other Russian forces of seizing Simferopol’s civilian international airport.
"I consider what has happened to be an armed invasion and occupation in violation of all international agreements and norms," Avakov said on his Facebook page, describing it as a "provocation" and calling for talks…
And there’s this, from the Associated Press:
Ukraine crisis deepens as Russia scrambles jets
By KARL RITTER AND DALTON BENNETT | February 27, 2014
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia scrambled fighter jets to patrol its border and reportedly gave shelter to Ukraine’s fugitive president as gunmen stormed government buildings in the strategic Crimea region and raised a Russian flag over the regional parliament Thursday, deepening the crisis for the new Ukrainian government even as it was being formed…
Respected Russian news organization RBK reported that Viktor Yanukovych, who was driven out of Kiev by a three-month protest movement against his government, was staying in a Kremlin retreat just outside Moscow after first staying at a hotel.
Maybe he can share a room with Snowden.
"I have to ask Russia to ensure my personal safety from extremists," the fugitive leader said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies on Thursday. He said he still considers himself president and sees the new Ukrainian authorities as illegitimate. The same agencies then quoted an unnamed Russian official saying that Yanukovych’s request for protection "was satisfied on the territory of Russia." …
And this, from the Associated Press:
Russia warship docks in Havana harbor
February 27, 2014
HAVANA (AP) — A Russian warship was docked in the Havana harbor on Thursday, a day after the country’s defense minister announced plans to expand Russia’s worldwide military presence.
The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 — one of the fleet’s Vishnya-class ships, which are generally used for intelligence gathering — drew looks from curious residents as it sat tied up at the cruise terminal in Old Havana. Both Russian and Cuban flags fluttered from its guy wires.
Cuban official media made no immediate mention of its port call…
The CCB-175 is reportedly equipped with sophisticated electronic surveillance gear along with ship-to-air missiles and 30mm anti-aircraft guns.
It’s hard to believe Putin would be so provocative with the steely-eyed Barack Obama looking on. But then again, maybe not. After all, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan when another pacifist President, Jimmy Carter, was in office. So it isn’t really hard to believe at all.
In fact, Obama will probably respond by calling for even deeper cuts to our military and nuclear arsenal and missile defenses — just to prove to Putin how truly ‘flexible’ he can be.
All Putin has to do is leave the Ukrainian gays alone, and he will be on velvet.