Putin on Tuesday denied Russian deployment had taken place, insisting the troops were part of “local militias.”

Ukraine anthem: http://www​.youtube.c​om/watch?v​=bHzHlSLht​mM

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MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – More than 5,500 soldiers have defected from Ukraine’s military to serve the autonomous republic of Crimea, the region’s newly appointed leader said.
“Of the 34 Ukrainian military units stationed in Crimea, 23 have defected,” a local government representative told RIA Novosti on Tuesday….
Troops under apparent Russian command, many of them traveling in military trucks and armored personnel carriers, have deployed widely around Crimea, as attested by numerous eyewitness accounts from reporters on the ground.
The forces have surrounded Ukrainian military installations and demanded soldiers inside lay down their arms.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday denied such a deployment had taken place, however, insisting the troops were part of “local militias.”
Neither the Ukrainian national government nor independent sources have yet confirmed the defection figures.
A Crimean government spokesman said the defections included troops stationed at Sevastopol’s Belbek Airport and three air defense regiments that operate S-300 surface-to-air missile systems.  http://en.ria.ru/world/20140304/188085607/5500-Ukrainian-Soldiers-Defect-to-Serve-an-Independent-Crimea.html
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Putin/KGB doctrine: R2I, or Responsibility to Intimidate
“As brilliant as Putin is, he has only one pattern. It’s a clever pattern but he has only one,” said Nina Kruscheva, great-granddaughter of Nikita K.
“We are proud to be Russian, but we are ashamed of the president of Russia–this is the last straw,” said Irina Brovina of Queens, NYC. –NYT, 3-3-14, p. A8, A10
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3-4-14 MOSCOW, March 4 (RIA Novosti) – President Vladimir Putin argued Tuesday that Russia has no legal obligations before Ukraine because it has undergone a revolution….(This appears to) contradict Russian commitments to Ukraine under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum to respect its sovereignty and not to use force against its former Soviet neighbor. http://en.ria.ru/russia/20140304/188087472/Russia-Not-Obliged-to-Accept-Agreements-with-Ukraine—Putin.html
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British Sanctions on Russia Would Be Bad for London’s Economy | New Republic

Rich Russians live all over Europe, and they spend a lot of money. If it wants to punish Putin, Europe has to persuade its citizens to forgo that cash.
http://www.newrepublic.com
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