Crimea Lost: Ukraine Orders Full Withdrawal of Troops

Pressure mounts for Obama to act

The Los Angeles Times reported early Monday morning that the Ukrainian government has ordered the full withdrawal of troops from Crimea, conceding the peninsula to Russia after days of mounting tension and Putin’s systematic takeover of key military sites.

The Russians have taken at least three military facilities since Friday, detaining as many as 80 Ukranian servicemen. With Ukraine’s military presence already greatly diminished by Russia’s orchestrated takeover, Ukraine’s Acting President Oleksander Turchnynov informed lawmakers that he had ordered the evacuation of all servicemen and their families from the peninsula due to unspecified threats from Russian troops.

While Putin argues that his annexation of Crimea has been legitimized by the constitutionally illegal referendum vote that saw nearly 100% approval from those Crimeans who participated, pressure mounts for President Obama and EU leaders to act. As the LA Times reports, the crises in Ukraine is expected to dominate his agenda in a series of meetings with foreign leaders over the next week surrounding a nuclear security summit:

The situation in Ukraine is set to dominate U.S. President Barack Obama's agenda as he begins a week of international travel in the Netherlands, where is set to attend a nuclear security summit. The two-day summit has been expected to be the focus of Obama's visit, but the event will now be overshadowed by hurriedly scheduled talks on Ukraine among the Group of Seven industrialized economies — the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.