(Simferopol, Ukraine) – Just yesterday, it seemed impossible for the events unfolding in Crimea could get any worse.
Although a major Russian military base is located in Crimea, an eastern part of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that world just days ago that he had no intention of intervening militarily due to the recent overthrow of the Viktor Yanukovych government.
Although Russia began unannounced military drills on the border of Ukraine on February 26, Putin assured the world that he had no intention of going against the will of the Ukrainian people by forcibly re-installing the Yanukovych government.
And yesterday, when masked gunmen took over several political buildings and several Crimean airports, Putin assured the world that they were not part of the Russian military. The Russian government went so far as to suggest the masked men weren’t masked men at all, but rather were mutated survivors of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
To everyone’s surprise, it looks like Putin was lying.
Earlier today, Putin requested and received permission from Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, to send troops to Ukraine – and not just for deployment in Crimea, but anywhere in Ukraine. He wasted no time, claiming he would respond to a threat to Russian lives. And now, Crimean Prime Minister Serhiy Aksyonov, has confirmed the Russian military is now on Crimean soil and taking up positions around government installations and Crimean airports.
Additionally, Aksyonov’s government announced it would hold a referendum at the end of March to decide on one of the following scenarios for Crimea’s future:
- Remain an autonomous republic within Ukraine
- Become an independent state
- Become part of Russia
- Invade the rest of Ukraine
- Invade Russia
- Invade Europe
- Invade the rest of Ukraine and Russia
- Invade the rest of Ukraine and Europe
- Invade the rest of Ukraine, Russia, and Europe
The referendum will reportedly also include ballot measures to ban the likes of Justin Bieber, Madonna, Katy Perry, Lindsay Lohan, Honey Boo-Boo, and anyone with the name “Kardashian” from Crimean soil.
President Oleksandr Turchynov, the interim leader of Ukraine, condemned Russia. “President Turchynov considers the events of yesterday and today to be nothing but direct aggression against Ukrainian sovereignty,” said a Turchynov spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And we also do not recognize the authority of Serhiy Aksyonov and do not agree to his proposed referendum on Crimea’s future.
“We do agree on the ballot measures banning Americans and Canadians with questionable morals, but that’s where our agreement ends.”
Another 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.
Just yesterday, Washington thought it had made a strong case to Russia. President Obama (D-IL/Kenya) gave a brief statement about the ongoing crisis, warning of “consequences” if Russia used force on Ukrainian soil.
“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.”
Obama assured Americans that the country’s military was on alert to counter any threats brought about by the Ukrainian crisis. “We also apologize to the American people, said a National Security Agency (NSA) spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We were spending so much time listing to Americans’ conversations that we simply forgot to listen to Crimea. Our bad.”
It would seem the current situation violates the February 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. Signed by the United States, Ukraine, Russia, and the United Kingdom, the memorandum laid out the transfer of Russian nuclear weapons from Ukraine back to Russia, and also agreed to:
- Respect Ukrainian independence and sovereignty within its existing borders
- Refrain from the threat or use of force against Ukraine
- Refrain from using economic pressure on Ukraine in order to influence its politics
- Refrain from using “Glowing Chicken Kiev” jokes when referring to Ukraine and/or the Chernobyl nuclear accident