Ukraine Gears Up For War: Is the Country Really On the Brink Of Disaster?

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By Alyssa Ashley Lucas | March 3, 2014 7:11 PM EST

"This is not a threat. This is actually the declaration of war to my country," Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who heads the pro-Western opposition government that took in Kiev after Moscow-backed President Victor Yanukovich was ousted, said.

REUTERS/Kacper Pempel
A woman places a candle during a demonstration of solidarity with Ukrainian people in front of the Ukraine embassy in Warsaw February 19, 2014.

According to Reuters, Russian President Vladimir Putin secured permission from his Parliament on March 1 to use military force to protect Russian citizens who are in Ukraine. Pres. Putin told U.S. President Barack Obama that he had the right to defend Russian interests and nationals.

There was no other response than Ukraine gearing up for war. TIME World reported Ukraine put out the "most dangerous standoff" between Kremline and the West since the Cold War after Pres. Putin declared he had the right to invade his neighboring country.

In response to Russia's military action, Kiev mobilized its troops. According to a BBC report, Kiev directed its Armed Forces to be put on "full combat readiness."

The Russian army seized Crimea where Moscow has a naval base, and positioned its troops in key sites, including airports and communication hubs. Russian forces also surrounded several Ukranian military bases on Sunday that resulted to a standoff between the Russian and the Ukranian troops, but there was no shots fired.

Meanwhile, in the east Ukrainian city of Donetsk, Ukranians demonstrated violent protests and called for Russia to defend them.

The activists hoisted flags at government buildings. Also, there had been obvious members of the disbanded elite police unit, appearing in full uniform in an apparent pro-Russian rally.

According to TIME, Ukraine called the move a ploy to encourage Russian troop mobilization across the wider region.

"If President Putin wants to be president who started the war between two neighboring and friendly countries, between Ukraine and Russia, so: he has reached this target within a few inches. We are on the brink of disaster," Prime Minister Yatsenyuk delivered.

The Western Government held emergency meetings to talk about a possible response.

"It is time for the Russian intervention in Ukraine to end," Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said. Power called Russia's troop deployment a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty.

In a sign of concern among Russian liberals, Reuters reported that members of Putin's own human rights council urged him on Sunday not to invade Ukraine.

On the same day, Ukraine's appeal for help to NATO had been heard. Ukraine had once appealed to NATO and directly to Britain and the U.S. as co-signatories with Russia to a 1994 accord guaranteeing Ukraine's security.

The alliance called on Russia to withdraw and let its forces leave its bases. NATO said the military action which Russia had implemented against Ukraine by forces of the Russian Federation was a breach of international law.

NATO, however, did not agree on any significant measures to apply pressure to Russia. Reuters reported so far the Western response had been largely symbolic. Still, Ukraine might or might not be on the brink of disaster. The country's fate depends on how each government official treats the unfortunate event.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel / )
A woman places a candle during a demonstration of solidarity with Ukrainian people in front of the Ukraine embassy in Warsaw February 19, 2014.
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