Moments ago, Reuters blasted the following headline:
DECREE MAKING CRIMEA PART OF RUSSIA HAS COME INTO FORCE FROM MOMENT OF ADOPTION; RUSSIAN ARMED FORCES ARE ONLY LEGITIMATE FORCES IN REGION -DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF CRIMEA
On the surface, this would mean that the Russian annexation of the Crimea if complete (and East Ukraine is coming). Especially when one considers that earlier Crimea also said it could adopt the Russian rouble as its currency and “nationalise” state property as part of plans to join the Russian Federation, a regional official was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The only problem as we reported earlier is that Kiev opened a criminal investigation against Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Askyonov, who was appointed by the region’s parliament last week. The Ukrainian government does not recognise his authority or that of the parliament. In other words, Kiev will not respect the Crimea’s popular choice, even if it is fully supported by Putin, which means that a showdown, one in which Russia proclaims it is defending the democracy of the Crimea against the Kiev government, is now almost inevitable.