Russian military moves in Crimea are declaration of war, says Ukrainian PM
Kiev calls up military reserves, Russian troops surround Crimean base and Nato ambassadors meet in Brussels
Shaun Walker in Simferopol and Ian Traynor in Brussels
Sunday 2 March 2014
Vladimir Putin has declared war on Ukraine, the acting prime minister in Kiev, Arseniy Yatseniuk, has said, as Ukraine called up its military reserves in readiness to fight but also ordered its troops to resist responding to Russian “provocations” for fear of triggering a bloodbath.
“We are on the brink of disaster,” said Yatseniuk, as Kiev called for help from Washington and London, co-signatories of a 1994 pact with Russia guaranteeing Ukraine’s security.
“This is actually a declaration of war on my country. We urge Putin to pull back his troops from this country and honour bilateral agreements. If he wants to be the president who started a war between two neighbouring and friendly countries, he has reached his target within a few inches,” he said.
As Yatseniuk spoke, hundreds of Russian troops were surrounding a Ukrainian base just outside the Crimean capital, Simferopol, in the latest military manoeuvre on the peninsula indicative of a move by Moscow to annex, in all but name, the Black Sea peninsula.