Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty adding Crimea to the Russian map, Russia celebrated by killing a Ukrainian soldier. Did they run out of celebratory vodka?
With a historic sweep of his pen, Putin signed a treaty annexing Crimea, two days after the soon-to-be Russian region’s hastily put together referendum to leave Ukraine. Putin described the move a correction of a “historical injustice” and a necessary response to what he referred to as Western encroachment upon Russia’s vital interests.
“Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people,” Putin said in an overly patriotic speech at the Grand Kremlin Palace.
Putin declared before the Russian parliament that Moscow is undeterred in its plan to annex Crimea, and dismissed the West’s criticism of Sunday’s Crimean referendum as a manifestation of the West’s double standards.
Putin’s treaty still must be ratified by Russia’s Constitutional Court and both houses of parliament, but given the quick pace of the whole “annexing Crimea plan”, the deal will probably be complete by the end of this week.
Shortly after Putin and his Crimean pals signed the bill to absorb the peninsula into Russia, a Ukrainian officer was killed in an attack on a base in Crimea. Armed men stormed the base in Simferopol, firing automatic weapons, killing one serviceman and injuring several others. Ukrainian military spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov said it was unclear who had staged the assault, but the Ukrainian prime minister has accused Russia of committing a “war crime” and has authorized its troops to fire in self defense.
The West’s response? MORE SANCTIONS! And a G7 meeting couldn’t hurt.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Tuesday that the United States planned to increase sanctions in response to Russia’s move to annex Crimea and President Obama has called a G7 meeting next week to discuss the annexation.
I guess it’s a good thing this all happened after the Olympics… otherwise it would make for a very awkward closing ceremonies.