Russian troops are on the move in Crimea. Ukraine’s Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said that Russia is trying to seize the territory:
Authorities closed airspace over Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and at least five Russian transport planes landed at a military air strip near the regional capital late Friday, as the country’s acting president accused Moscow of trying to seize territory.
A duty officer at the Simferopol airport said that all commercial takeoffs and landings had been canceled from the Crimean regional capital’s airport for at least 24 hours. …
Ukrainian news media reported disruptions “by unknown persons” of telephone and Internet communications, and said that the Krym regional television station had been surrounded by gunmen. …
Turchynov’s representative in Crimea, Sergei Kunitsin, later said in televised remarks that 13 Russian jumbo jets landed at Gvardeyskoye, near Simferopol, carrying an estimated 2,000 Russian paratroopers.
According to one report, the invading Russian troops are from the crack 76th Chernihov (Pskov) Storm Troops Division.
The Obama administration has responded, so far, in a manner that is pathetic even by its own standards. After issuing stern warnings to Russia not to invade Crimea, the administration, confronted with the actual presence of Russian troops on the ground, philosophized about whether it was really an invasion, suggesting that a more apt term might be an “uncontested arrival.” Former chess champion Garry Kasparov reacted with stunned indignation:
US calls Crimea "uncontested arrival", not invasion. Obama will win semantic fights in the air while Putin wins with troops on the ground.
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) February 28, 2014
President Obama himself, having delivered a limp warning to Vladimir Putin, decamped for a meeting of the Democratic National Committee, where he told a cheering crowd: “Well, it’s Friday, it’s after 5:00. So this is officially happy hour with the Democratic Party.”
It is not, of course, happy hour in Ukraine, or anywhere else where people are used to counting on American leadership. The man is simply unbelievable.