Voters in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea who vote in the March 16 referendum have two choices – join Russia immediately or declare independence and then join Russia.
So the choices are “yes, now” or “yes, later.”
A leaked conversation between Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton relays explosive suspicions that the same snipers are responsible for the Feb. 18-20 killings of both EuroMaidan demonstrators and police officers.
In a gesture of support for Ukraine, US State Secretary John Kerry visited Kyiv on March 4, paying respect to the nation's fallen heroes, threatening Russia with new sanctions, and pledging economic support to the interim government.
ARMYANSK, Ukraine -- On a road leading to the Crimean peninsula, a journalist woke up with a start. He was being stared at, through the window of the car he and his colleague from a TV station hired to drive to Crimea on March 1, by at least a half-dozen men armed with Kalashnikovs.
Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukraine's acting head of state, today accused Russia of "provoking a conflict" by backing the seizure of the Crimean parliament building and other government offices on the peninsula. Armed gunmen have also seized Crimea's telecommunication company and two airports, prompting numerous flight cancellations.
Two Crimean airports were taken over by Russian military troops, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Facebook this morning. He said the situation in the autonomous republic has now escalated to “a military intervention” and called on the National Security Council to take urgent steps towards its regulation.
Before his nomination as prime minister on Feb. 27, Arseniy Yatseniuk said he was going to lead a “kamikaze government.” His Cabinet has 21 members, a mix of veteran politicians, EuroMaidan activists and a few people who could make a big difference.
Early on Feb. 23, a handful of journalists and activists hastily picked up soggy folders stuffed full of documents that contained some of the most guarded secrets in Ukraine during Viktor Yanukovych’s rule as president since 2010. They had been fished out from the Kyiv reservoir leading to the Dnipro River.
The Cabinet of Ministers brought to the helm by the EuroMaidan revolution, is a motley crew indeed: A combination of old faces tainted by allegations of corruption, newly emerged revolutionary heroes and appointees who are able to make a difference.
SUKHOLUCHYA, Kyiv Oblast - Three scared workers at the hunting residence of former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, who has gone into hiding, swear a lot when they talk about last night. Five times overnight, armed people broke into the house, ordered them to get down with their faces on the ground and rooted through the house.
When ex-President Viktor Yanukovych left his luxurious Mezhyhirya in a hurry on Feb. 22, he left a lot behind – including enough financial documents to keep criminal investigators and investigative journalists busy for months to come.
Parliament voted for a law that would allow the release of jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an opposition figurehead and major political rival of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Parliament voted to free ex-Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko from prison by decriminalizing the article in the criminal procedural code under which she was convicted.
As gunfire and sirens overtook Kyiv on Feb. 21, police officers based in front of the parliament, deep inside the sealed off government block, felt hungry for information. They eagerly asked for the news and to see videos of snipers shooting the protesters to make sure the rumors were true.
With each escalation of government violence in the EuroMaidan demonstrations, the West has threatened sanctions. This week, with at least 75 people killed in clashes between police and anti-government protesters, the European Union and United States followed through on those threats as Ukraine’s politicians failed to end the nation’s crisis.
Kyiv City administrator Volodymyr Makeenko quit the Party of Regions and pledged allegiance to the people of Ukraine. In a strong-worded statement released on Youtube, he said no power is worth human victims, and called on parliament deputies to "stand as human shields" between two warring sides.
Makeenko was appointed by the president on Jan. 25 to replace Oleksandr Popov, who was accused of being a part of the command chain that gave orders to disperse a peaceful demonstration on Nov. 30. A loyal Party of Regions member until today, Makeenko has been a parliament deputy of all convocations of the Verkhovna Rada.
Central Kyiv turned into a war zone on Feb. 20, with indiscriminate shooting, burning fires and the mass evacuations of government buildings.
At least 35 people were reported dead by noon, bringing the total count to at least 61 persons this week.
It became increasingly clear that both sides have lost control of the streets across Ukraine as reports of deaths, looting, and violent attacks poured in.