- Armed groups took over access to both main airports on the Crimean Peninsula.
- The Ukrainian border guard service claimed that more than 10 Russian military helicopters flew from Russia into Ukrainian airspace over the Crimea region. It also said eight Russian transport planes had landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.
- Russia confirmed that armoured vehicles attached to its naval base were moving around Crimea for “security” reasons.
- Uniformed Russian servicemen were blocking off a unit of Ukrainian border guards in the port city of Sevastopol, where part of the Russian Black Sea fleet is based, according to Ukraine’s border service.
- Ukrainian International, Ukraine’s biggest airline, said the airspace over the Crimea region had been closed.
The new Ukrainian government said Friday it had been invaded by Russia and appealed for the United States and United Kingdom to protect it, as guaranteed under a 1994 agreement.
There is no way that the US or UK will get into an armed confrontation with the Russians in the Crimea, irrespective of the treaty. The main significance of this very public impotency is that others with similar agreements will now see their true worth, and those with predatory impulses will see that there will be no real cost to aggression. Think China and Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.
That didn't take long. Chinese government official lobs racist slur at outgoing US ambassador. That's especially egregious given the importance of "face" in that culture, and the gravity of this public act of disrespect.
Meanwhile, Obama issues a strongly worded statement condemning the invasion, after he and Biden jog around the White House to support Michelle's "Let's Move" campaign.
Then, just like during Benghazi, he trotted off to a fundraiser.
And then, properly impressed with Obama's statement, the Russians ordered Ukrainian troops to leave the Crimea.
Obligatory in this situation: