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article imageUkraine forces on combat alert as Russians enter Crimea

By Paul Wallis     Mar 2, 2014 in World
Sevastopol - Events are moving faster than Western news sources in the Ukraine. Xinhua reports that the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that armored troops from the Russian Black Sea Fleet had already entered the Crimea.
It's not clear whether the forces were on the move prior to the official approval given by the Russian government. Given the dating of the Xinhua report, 28 Feb, it appears that the Russian forces were already on the move in to the Ukraine. Xinhua’s report is about 12 hours old, predating Western sources.
Russian Foreign Ministry confirms on its website that the Armor troops of Black Sea Fleet has entered Crimea to protect its forces, Feb. 28, 2014.
The BBC has a similar story, just released in the last couple of hours.
News is only just now filtering through that the Russian Federation had approved the use of forces in the Ukraine. The BBC ran an update about an hour ago regarding the Russian move.
The Xinhua information, combined with the appearance of “armed groups”, armed with military style weapons and in nondescript uniforms, seems to indicate official Russian news reaching the West is well out of date with ongoing developments.
In the political sphere, unlike the news, is moving a lot faster. According to CBC, Canada and the US have already told Russia to remove its forces from the Crimea 5 hours ago:
Canadian Prime Minister Harper ordered the return of the Canadian ambassador, ended Canada's participation in the G8 conference hosted by Russia, and called on Russia to withdraw its forces.
Obama personally delivered the same message as Harper's during a 90-minute telephone conversation with Putin, the White House said late Saturday. He not only urged Putin to pull his forces back to Russian bases in Crimea, but also to refrain from interfering elsewhere in the former Soviet republic.
According to ABC Australia, the Ukraine interim government was already aware of the presence of Russian troops:
"The inadequate presence of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory is a provocation, and Russian attempts to make Ukraine react with force have failed," Mr Yatsenyuk (new Ukrainian Prime Minister) said at a televised cabinet meeting.
"It is unacceptable when armoured Russian military vehicles are out in the centre of Ukrainian towns.
"We do not give in to provocative actions, we do not use force and we demand that Russia stop its provocative actions and return the troops to base."
The prime minister's comments came as Russian president Vladimir Putin sought approval to move armed forces into Ukrainian territory.
The Ukrainian military is now on a war footing. ABC Australia reports:
Ukraine has put its armed forces on full combat alert and warned of war after Russian president Vladimir Putin won approval from parliament to officially deploy troops in the region.
The vote gave the green light to Mr Putin's proposal to send troops into Ukraine's Crimea region, where the ethnic Russian majority is rejecting the new government in Kiev.
Ukraine's acting president Oleksander Turchinov has expressed concern, saying any Russian military intervention "would be the beginning of war and the end of any relations".
The move has also been greeted with alarm by the international community, prompting an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.
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