SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — As Russian-backed armed forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula on Saturday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia requested —and received — authorization from the Russian Senate to use military force in Ukraine.
The actions signaled publicly for the first time the Kremlin’s readiness to intervene militarily in Ukraine, and it served as a blunt response to President Obama, who just hours earlier pointedly warned Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Within hours after receiving Mr. Putin’s request, Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, voted to approve it, after a debate that warned of the apocalyptic consequences of failing to stop a fascist threat from spreading to Russia’s borders. The lawmakers directed considerable fury at President Obama and others in the West they accused of fomenting the upheaval in Ukraine. Continue reading