This is a collection of gleanings from The Guardian's live blog on Ukraine.
SummaryThe IMF is sending a team to open negotiations with the interim government in Kiev. They will be seeking about $15B in aid which is the amount that Russia has cut off. The question is what austerity conditions the IMF will impose.
• Dozens of pro-Russia gunmen have seized government buildings in Ukraine’s Crimea region, which houses Russia’s Black Sea fleet, and hoisted a Russian flag.
• The men were reportedly holding rocket-propelled grenade launchers and sniper rifles and threw a flash grenade at a journalist who asked them a question but no one was injured.
• The interim government in Kiev summoned Russia’s envoy and warned its neighbour against “military agression”. Acting president Oleksandr Turchynov warned Russian forces not to leave their naval base in the Crimea region.
• Russia reportedly put fighter jets on its western border on alert as it warned it would take “a tough and uncompromised response to violations of compatriots’ rights”.
• Ukraine’s ousted president, Viktor Yanukovych, has surfaced in Russia and is still claiming to be the legitimate ruler of his country, according to Russian media reports quoting top government sources.
Here is the reaction form the Kiev Post to the makeup of the interim government. I do not know what the position and standing of this publication is. It appears in an English version.
The US government seems to be asserting dominance in providing a western counter balance to Russian aspirations in the region. The EU as is so often the case is too cumbersome to make rapid responses to changing circumstances.