Russian Parliament Approves Sending Troops to Ukraine

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 1 2014 10:06 AM

Russian Parliament Approves Putin Request to Use Military in Ukraine

475727651-unidentified-armed-men-patrol-in-front-of-crimean
Unidentified armed men patrol in front of Crimean parliament in Simferopol on Saturday

Photo by GENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be trying to formalize the invasion. A day after President Obama warned Russia against any intervention in Ukraine, Putin called on parliament to give the OK to use the country’s military. (UPDATE: Parliament unanimously approved the request.) "I'm submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country," Putin said in a statement. Perhaps most concerning of all is that the motion Putin called on lawmakers to approve refers to the “territory of Ukraine” and not Crimea specficially, “raising the possibility that Moscow could use military force in other Russian-speaking provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine where many oppose the new authorities in Kiev,” details the Associated Press.

It doesn’t seem Putin will face much resistance. Earlier in the day, the leaders of Russia’s lower and upper houses of parliament called on Putin to ensure the safety of Russian citizens in Crimea. Valentina Matviyenko, the leader of the upper house, said sending “a limited contingent [of troops] to guarantee security” would be justified, according to RIA. Yet the move would only seem to be a formality, acknowledging an already existing reality because armed forces backed by Russia had already effectively taken control of the Crimean peninsula Saturday, notes the New York Times.

Advertisement

Ukraine blasted Russia for deploying some 6,000 extra troops to Crimea, details the BBC. Reuters explains that armed men with a uniform that don’t have clear identification markings control two airports in Crimea. Armed uniformed men also replaced local police in front of the regional parliament building, reports the Washington Post. “What is happening can be called an armed invasion and occupation," said Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s new interior minister. "In violation of all international treaties and norms. This is a direct provocation for armed bloodshed in the territory of a sovereign state."

This post has been updated with new information since it was originally published.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

Here’s Where We Stand With Ebola

Even experienced international disaster responders are shocked at how bad it’s gotten.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Are Lighter-Skinned Latinos and Asians More Likely to Vote Republican?

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 23 2014 12:43 PM Occupy Wall Street How can Hillary Clinton be both a limousine liberal and a Saul Alinsky radical?
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Head of Security Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would A Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus
Sept. 22 2014 1:52 PM Tell Us What You Think About Slate Plus Help us improve our new membership program.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 2:31 PM 3 Simpsons Showrunners Reflect on New Fans and the “Classic Era” Myth
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms Off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 1:38 PM Why Is Fall Red in America but Yellow in Europe? A possible explanation, 35 million years in the making.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.