(Simferopol, Ukraine) – Just 10 days ago, Ukrainians protesting against the corrupt government of President Viktor Yanukovych took to the streets of Kiev, fighting Ukrainian police on Independence Square. Just eight days ago, pro-government snipers killed over 70 protesters. And just seven days ago, Yanukovych fled Kiev for the safety of his primary benefactor, Russia.
And now things are worse.
Ukraine’s Crimea, home to a major Russian military base and a majority of Russian-speaking Ukrainians, began protesting the ousting of Yanukovych as he headed for Russia. On February 26, Russia began unannounced military drills on the border of Ukraine. And yesterday, masked gunmen took over several political buildings and several Crimean airports.
Ukraine says the masked gunmen are Russian soldiers. Russia says none of its soldiers are in Ukraine – other than on its military facilities.
“We don’t know who these masked men are,” said a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they are not Russian soldiers or agents. Maybe they’re Ukrainians who are tired of Aeroflot flights crashing in their territory?”
Some believe the masked men aren’t masked men at all, but rather are mutated survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
In Washington, the White House was having none of this. President Obama (D-IL/Kenya) gave a brief statement about the ongoing crisis, placing blame squarely on an “invasion” by Russia.
“President Obama deplores this aggression in the strongest possible terms,” said a White House spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He has told President Putin that there will be consequences. We have absolutely no idea what the consequences might be, but there will be consequences. And that’s consequential.”
Back in Kiev, Ukrainians were having none of this. “We have seen the ‘consequences’ Obama delivered to [President Bashar] Assad in Syria,” said a Ukrainian protester, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And last week, Obama said there would be ‘consequences’ for Yanukovych if he killed protesters, which he did. In both cases, there were no consequences. So why should we believe him now?
The interim Ukrainian government has accused Russia of violating its territorial integrity. Russia responded by setting up a 1-800 number, staffed by vodka-swilling alcoholics, to call and complain.
An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was held behind closed doors. No progress was made because, as usual, China wanted to see how events develop.
“We must continue to examine the evidence, remain calm, not do anything provocative or hasty, and continue to threaten Taiwan and enslave Tibet,” said a Chinese government spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity.