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article imageU.S. warns Russia against military action in Ukraine

By R. Francis Rubio     Feb 27, 2014 in World
Amid ongoing political turmoil in Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin ordering massive military exercises Wednesday, the Obama Administration warns Russia against any military intervention that would violate Ukrainian sovereignty.
Just days after the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Wednesday plans for the Russian military to conduct massive exercises intended to check the troops "readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."
According to Russian news agencies, Shoigu said that the planned maneuvers would involve approximately 150,000 troops, some 880 tanks, along with 90 aircraft and 80 navy ships.
Shoigu insisted the military maneuvers in Russia had nothing to do with the unrest in Ukraine. (a former Soviet republic bordering Russia close to planned military exercises) However, Shoigu also announced his ministry's attention to beef-up security at the facilities of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.
Shoigu's sudden announcement raised fears among many in the region that this was just a prelude to invasion, prompting a response from U.S Secretary of State John Kerry.
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Kerry warned Russia against military action in Ukraine, saying any such action could lead to a broad international backlash, the United States, the U.N and others would react.
"I don't think there should be any doubt whatsoever that any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge...a grave...mistake." Kerry said.
During the same interview, Secretary Kerry also pledged $1 billion in emergency loan guarantees in an effort to aid Ukraine during its leadership transition. The emergency loans would eventually be followed by a larger aid package including international contributions and loans.
"There's got to be some reality here," said Kerry. "I don't think it's enough for us to be heralding the advent of democracy and to applaud the courage and conviction of the people who brought about this transition and just not do anything. I think that's unconscionable."
The White House said President Obama and President Putin both agreed during communications last week that all sides should refrain from violence in Ukraine. Secretary Kerry is set to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week.
More about Vladimir putin, John kerry, Ukraine, Russian military, Ukraine Protests
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