Latest Developments, 12:00 ET, March 3 / Russian Ultimatum to Ukraine Forces in Crimea
The latest …
1. Russia has demanded that that Ukrainian forces in Crimea surrender by 0300 GMT (10:00 pm Eastern Standard Time). Russian troops have surrounded two large Ukrainian bases and some smaller facilities on the peninsula (BBC).
2. The G-7 has pulled out of planning meetings for G-8 (G-7 + Russia) in June. One attempt to “punish” Russia for the crisis (BBC). It seems questionable that things would go so far as expulsion of Russia from G-8 (see my post below) but who knows.
3. According to RT.com (Putin-leaning Russian English language news outlet), about 100 anti-Kiev (“anti-Maidan”), pro-Russian demonstrators have seized the bottom two floors of the Donetsk provincial government building. This was in response to the new Kiev government’s appointment of a new pro-Maidan governor. Apparently the city government of Donetsk, which passed a resolution refusing to recognize the Kiev government yesterday, is at odds with the provincial government, or the new governor at least. Note that the number of pro-Russian demonstrators actually in the building is laughably small. Photographs on the RT website do not support RT claims of “thousands” of demonstrators outside.
4. Yesterday the Kievan government appointed 18 new governors, as part of an attempt to control the situation in east Ukraine. Pro-Russians in east Ukraine have regularly demanded the right to elect provincial governors, rather than have them appointed from Kiev (RT.com).
5. The new governor of Donetsk province, Sergei Taruta, says that Ukrainian borders with Russia need to be closed, to block more Russian infiltrators (Ukrainian newspaper Den).