By Chris Rumbles
Ukraine’s new Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has warned the country is ‘on the brink of disaster’ as Ukrainian armed forces mobilise in response to Russian troops occupying Crimea.
Mr Yatsenyuk said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was on the verge of initiating a war between “two neighbouring and friendly countries”.

The newly appointed Yatsenyuk was keen to stress the illegality of Russia’s actions: “There was not any reason for the Russian Federation to invade Ukraine and we believe that our vested partners and the entire global community will support the territorial integrity and unity of Ukraine.”

Crimea, a republic within Ukraine where many of its residents identify as Russian, witnessed Ukrainian army bases in the region being surrounded by Russian troops on Sunday.

Rear Admiral Denys Berezovsky, the man chosen on Saturday to head Ukraine’s navy, has now reportedly promised to serve Crimea over the Ukraine at a presentation overseen by unrecognised pro-Russian figures.

The UK has now abandoned preparatory discussions for the G8 Sochi summit along with France and the United States due to Russia’s actions.  US Secretary of State John Kerry even spoke of the possibility of Russia’s expulsion from the G8 if Vladimir Putin failed to heed the calls of western nations to withdraw troops from Ukraine.

Speaking before flying out to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev to meet the new Ukrainian authorities, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he would support Ukraine’s right to sovereignty: “We have to recognise the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been violated and this cannot be the way to conduct international affairs.”

Prime Minister David Cameron was due to speak with US President Barack Obama, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Sunday night.  Mr Cameron has already confirmed that no British ministers will attend the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi that begin this Friday.

Conflict has swiftly escalated in what has been an incredibly tumultuous time in Ukraine.  Civil unrest spearheaded by the EuroMaidan movement, the Ukrainian socio-political alliance pushing for closer ties with the European Union, resulted in President Viktor Yanukovych being deposed for the second time in his life.

In late 2004 Yanukovych was ousted as part of the Orange Revolution protests that saw supporters of Our Ukraine-People’s Self Defense Bloc presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko engage in peaceful protests and demonstrations against what they viewed as a corrupt election.

Yanukovych has since claimed in a television appearance that he is still the legitimate president of Ukraine and has labelled events in Kiev and elsewhere a “coup d’état”.  At a press conference in Russia last Friday, Mr Yanukovych claimed he wished to see a united Ukraine and opposed any prospect of military intervention.


red kite
2014-03-02 22:03

The Ukraine is far from a model democracy, either under the deposed previous leader or the new ones.
The “West” is far from having clean or neutral hands in this affair.
I’m just saying be cautious and don’t get mixed up in a situation which is not black & white, and where we don’t know what parties are involved publically or behind the scenes.
2014-03-02 22:19

Does this have any bearing on whether we should be a member of NATO?
2014-03-03 08:59

Yes. As members we could speak up for sanity, expect to be heard, and if nothing else have formal objections become a matter of permanent public record.
2014-03-03 11:05

this is Nato in all its meddling glory, again. it is an agent of US foreign policy and we know that has been disastrous. what would a sovereign Scotland gain from membership? participation in neo-colonial adventurist wars of “liberation”? haven’t we had enough of those already?

2014-03-02 22:23

True red kite. I lived in Ukraine and my wife is from there and we’re stumped by the various machinations that must be going on behind the scenes. I just read this article and although I don’t necessarily endorse the views, it certainly gives you a contrast to the BBC’s version which pretty much just involves evil Russia, or is a negative of Russia’s first channel which involves simply evil fascists supported by the west.…/…
2014-03-03 00:34

Once again a sad affair where you are reliant upon foreign news channels to get some sort of feeling about what’s going on. Certainly appears that there are a number of unlikely bed-mates involved who are united by a demonisation of Russia. The “do as I say and not as I do” attitude displayed by the West is truly breathtaking considering the approach taken in Syria,Iraq and elsewhere.
Jo Bloggs
2014-03-03 08:08

You have a point, dial-8, about the hypocrisy of the West, but that doesn’t help the Ukrainians. As a citizen of a small country with a long land border with Russia and a history of military conflict with our eastern neighbour (just to survive), it seems to me to be just more of the same old Russia.

2014-03-03 08:44

“The UK has now abandoned preparatory discussions for the G8 Sochi summit along with France and the United States due to Russia’s actions”
is that it.
Well just the same as Georgia the western European states line up to encourage Ukraine to ally them selves with the European Union, for there people to put there life’s on the line.
But out of everyone it’s the English tory Government that takes the prize, a party made of extreme ant European Union people who vie with a equally nasty bunch of xenophobes Ukip to see who is best to represent that nasty side of English nationalism, it beggars belief
2014-03-03 08:57

Yanukovych was democratically elected in the same way as Morsi in Egypt and in history, Allende in Chile. Western “democracies” backing right-wing coups, overthrowing legitimate governments or regimes they do not like seems to be becoming a habit. Is that why we hear rumours of HMG not recognising the referendum result should it go the “wrong way”?
2014-03-03 09:15

If by any chance some time in the future Ukraine did find its self in the European Union that lump of wood that has went to Kiev British Foreign Secretary William Hague, would be calling the same people scroungers and trying desperately to find ways to ban them from England
2014-03-03 09:46

The Westminster ruling elite just can’t help themselves.
They must have been very annoyed when MPs voted to prevent them getting involved in Syria and this gives them another opportunity to strut the world stage.
It is almost as if conflict is a drug which they are addicted to and the recent hiatus has been like cold turkey to them.
However,let’s hope that the situation in the Ukraine doesn’t get too heated,otherwis  e many innocent people are going to suffer.
2014-03-03 12:05

Ever since the collapse of The Warsaw Pact I have been worried by the no doubt US inspired eastward expansion of both The EU and Nato into the Russian Sphere Of Influence and that something like the current situation would arise.

Why don’t The Yanks and their lapdogs at Westminster stop poking their noses into and provoking matters in areas where they have no business.

I never thought that in a hundred years I would ever agree with anything said or written by Peter Hitchens but his article in yesterday’s Mail on Sunday
tallied 100% with my views on Ukraine and the current crisis.
2014-03-03 20:12

Re: Jeremy Vine Dinner Time show BBC Radio 2 last week: an English farmer phoned in. Said he owned a farm in Ukraine and that his workers were being paid to go to Kiev and demonstrate. He claimed they were being paid by the EU.

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.