Skip to main content

Others here are more knowledgeable than me about Ukraine, but there is no diary yet on what may be a big development.  It is just being reported that dozens of armed gunmen have seized a government building and the parliament building in Simferopol, the regional capital in Crimea.

They raised a Russian flag over the parliament building.

Here's the lede from that article:

Dozens of armed men seized the regional government administration building and parliament in Ukraine's southern Crimea region Thursday and raised the Russian flag in a challenge to the Eastern European country's new leaders.

Crimea, with its ethnic Russian majority, is the last big bastion of opposition to the new political leadership in Kiev after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's ouster Saturday.

The incident, coming a day after Russia ordered surprise military exercises on Ukraine's doorstep, has raised fears about the push and pull of opposing allegiances in a country sandwiched between Russia and the European Union.

In a diary here yesterday (seach Tags for "Ukraine") I suggested that Putin may annex Crimea.  Others thought that was implausible.  

Here's another article on this from The Guardian: .  Here's a paragraph from that article:

The men occupying the parliament building in the regional capital, Simferopol, early on Thursday did not come out to voice any demands. They wore black and orange ribbons, a Russian symbol of the victory in World War II. The men also put up a sign saying “Crimea is Russia.”
Apparently so far it's not clear which group these gunmen are affiliated with.  So far they've made no statements or demands.  That last article reports that they threw a flash grenade in response to an inquiry from a journalist.  That's odd behavior for political dissidents.

UPDATE:  Ukraine has reacted by bluntly warning Russia that any movement of Russian troops from bases in Crimea will be considered military aggression. .   Here's the lede:

Ukraine issued a blunt warning to Russia on Thursday after dozens of pro-Kremlin gunmen in combat fatigues seized parliament and government buildings on the volatile Crimean peninsula and Moscow said it was protecting the ousted leader.

The dawn raid came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin stoked fears of Moscow using its military might to sway the outcome of Ukraine's three-month standoff by ordering snap combat readiness drills near the border with the ex-Soviet state.

Interim president Oleksandr Turchynov responded by telling a boisterous parliament session that any movement of Russian troops out of their Black Sea bases in Crimea "will be considered as military aggression".

UPDATE 2: Here's an update from BBC News: .  Here's the lede:
Both Ukrainian and Russian papers express concern at the rising tensions between supporters of Ukraine's new leaders and pro-Russian separatists in the Russian-majority Crimea region.

While the Ukrainian press focuses on the potential danger of Crimean secession, some Russian papers accuse the historically anti-Russian Crimean Tatars - a Muslim ethnic group - of deliberately stoking up tension in the region.

Meanwhile, several regional Crimean papers warn that the situation could easily escalate further.

UPDATE 3:  Here's another good article: .  Especially interesting is this passage:
Maxim, a pro-Russian activist who refused to give his last name, said he and other activists had camped overnight outside the local parliament in Simferopol when 50-60 heavily armed men wearing flak jackets and carrying rocket-propelled grenade launchers and sniper rifles took over the building.

"Our activists were sitting there all night calmly, building the barricades," he said. "At 5 o'clock unknown men turned up and went to the building. They got into the courtyard and put everyone on the ground.

"They were asking who we were. When we said we stand for the Russian language and Russia, they said: 'Don't be afraid. We're with you.' Then they began to storm the building bringing down the doors," he said. "They didn't look like volunteers or amateurs; they were professionals. This was clearly a well-organized operation."

"Who are they?" he added. "Nobody knows."

Russian special forces?
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site