Will Englund and William Booth are in Ukraine, reporting on the latest developments. Here’s a quick look at where things stand this morning:
Yanukovych gets a security guarantee
Ousted Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych will be safe in Russia, a government spokesman told Russian wire services. Yanukovych said that the new government in Kiev is illegitimate and that he is still the rightful president of Ukraine.
And he’s reportedly in Russia
-Yanukovych was reportedly spotted in Moscow on Tuesday night and may be in one of the city’s suburbs.
New government begins operations in Kiev
-Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was named prime minister Wednesday, said Yanukovych is not the president. “He is a wanted person who is suspected of mass murder,” Yatsenyuk, a leader of the protests, said.
Men raise Russian flags over government buildings in Crimea
-Armed men seized two government buildings in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea. (The peninsula of Crimea is part of Ukraine, but it has its own legislature and constitution. It also has close ties to Russia, whose Black Sea Fleet is based there.) The men raised Russian flags over the local parliament and regional government headquarters.
A few thousand protesters gathered outside the building to support the armed men; the crowd opposes the new government in Kiev. Police formed a cordon around the building.
— William Booth (@BoothWilliam) February 27, 2014
NATO, U.S. urge Russia to use caution
-NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed concern about the developments in Crimea and urged Russia “not to take any action that could create misunderstanding and . . . all parties to step back from confrontation, refrain from provocative actions and return to the path of dialogue.”
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry warned Russia against military intervention in Ukraine. “I don’t think there should be any doubt whatsoever that any kind of military intervention that would violate the sovereign territorial integrity of Ukraine would be a huge — a grave — mistake,” Kerry said in a roundtable interview with reporters.