Just out from Reuters:
- INTERFAX UKRAINIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY AS SAYING RUSSIAN FLEET HAS GIVEN UKRAINIAN FORCES IN CRIMEA UNTIL 0300 GMT TOSURRENDER OR FACE STORM
It appears Putin is still unaware of the “costs” he is facing.
#Crimea The Russian deadline of 4 o’clock for Ukrainian troops to vacate Belbek base has passed. No sign of Russian military eviction force
— Elizabeth Palmer (@elizapalmer) March 3, 2014
Interpreter notes that Ukraine’s first president, Leonid Kravchuk, who served between 1991 and 1994, wrote in the Russian publication Snob.ru today that this crisis could spark World War III:
“I call on the Russian authorities to stop. Between our peoples should not be war. Does Russia not understand that this is the beginning of World War III?” he warned.
He vowed to defend the land of his forefathers despite his age.
“My great-grandfather and grandfather fought in World War I, along with Russia. I am 80 years old, but I’ll take a gun and I will defend their land. Every citizen will defend their territory as their home.
“We knelt and Russia sat us down. Czechoslovakia, Poland, Afghanistan, Hungary. Now Ukraine is on the line?” he continued.
If the Russian troops try to take these bases, and the soldiers inside resist, is it possible that Kravchuk’s warning could come true?