President Vladimir Putin
The ukranian military forces currently in Crimea have been given unitl 3:00 GMT to surrender or face assault. The limit was stablished by the head of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Aleksander Vitko, threatening to attack “across Crimea”.
The Western Powers, specially the United States, have condemned these actions as a direct violation towards Ukraine’s sovereignity. (read more about the US threat towards Russia here)
Russia is now said to be in de facto control of the Crimea region.
Ukraine has ordered full mobilisation to counter the intervention.
No shots have yet been fired in the region, which has a majority of Russian speakers and a largely pro-Russian local government.
Will World War Three start today?
Want to know how it all started? Read the following articles:
Ukraine has ordered a full military mobilisation in response to Russia’s build-up of its forces in Crimea. (read more of the Russian troops beinf deployed here)
Prime Minster Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the country was “on the brink of disaster”.
US President Barack Obama has called Russian troop deployments a “violation of Ukrainian sovereignty”. (read more of the US threat here)
Nato is conducting emergency talks on the crisis. Its secretary-general has said Russia’s actions “threatened peace and security in Europe”.
Several other measures were announced on Sunday by national security officials:
- The armed forces would be put on “full combat readiness”.
- Reserves to be mobilised and trained
- Ukraine’s foreign minister will seek the help of US and UK leaders in guaranteeing its security
- Emergency headquarters to be set up
- Increased security at key sites, including nuclear plants.
- Airspace closed to all non-civilian aircraft.
Russian troops have been seen digging trenches on the Crimean border. Heavily armed groups (russian) continue to occupy key sites on the peninsula, including airports and communications hubs, although there has been no actual violence.
Some fear this is the start of World War III
Russia’s upper house of parliament has approved President Putin’s request for Russian forces to be used in Ukraine. He had asked that Russian forces be used “until the normalisation of the political situation in the country”. (read about what the US says of this here)
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is based in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where many ethnic Russians live.
Ukraine’s acting President Olexander Turchynov said he had put the army on full alert but urged people to remain calm. In a televised address, he asked Ukrainians to bridge divisions in the country and said they must not fall for provocations.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was standing next to Mr Turchynov, said he was “convinced” Russia would not intervene militarily “as this would be the beginning of war and the end of all relations”.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin submitted the request for troops “in connection with the extraordinary situation in Ukraine and the threat to the lives of Russian citizens”, the Kremlin said.
The upper house went into a special session almost immediately after Mr Putin made the request, and swiftly approved it.
Some fear this is the start of World War III
The new pro-Russian leader of Ukraine’s southern Crimea region has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for help in maintaining peace, as international concerns mount that Moscow may intervene militarily in the crisis.
A Kremlin spokesman said Russia “will not disregard” Crimean Premier Sergey Aksyonov’s request for help “in maintaining peace and accord in Crimea.”
Aksyonov, who was installed as the region’s premier after armed men took over the Crimean parliament building Thursday, said security forces “are unable to efficiently control the situation in the republic,” in comments broadcast on Russian state channel Russia 24.
Consequently, he said, he was taking charge of security. His actions are also a response to Kiev’s actions in appointing a new police chief in Crimea on Friday without consulting the parliament, he said.
“I am appealing to Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide assistance in ensuring peace and accord” in Crimea, he said.
Russia could send a “limited” armed force to Crimea to ensure security of the Russian Black Sea Fleet and Russian citizens living there, the Speaker of Russia’s Upper House of Parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, said Saturday, according to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti.
The crisis in Crimea has echoed round the world, with the U.N. Security Council president holding a private meeting about the crisis enveloping Ukraine on Friday and world leaders calling on armed groups not to attempt to challenge Ukrainian sovereignty.
U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned on Sunday that it “would be a grave mistake” if Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened militarily in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Rice was among U.S. leaders saying they want to see a unity coalition government in the country after President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, the capital, and a unanimous vote in Parliament removed him from power.
“The United States is on the side of the Ukrainian people,” Rice said. The people expressed themselves peacefully, she said, and Yanukovych “turned on” the people by using violence against them.
Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, said there must be focus on forming a unity government. “Yanukovych needs to step aside, and I will say this: Now that the Olympics are over, we need to watch the behavior of the Russians,” she said.
Obama “needs to up his game and send a clear, unequivocal, public message to Putin not to interfere in what is happening in Ukraine,” Ayotte said, “to let the Ukrainian people determine their future, to ensure that there is no interference in their sovereignty.”
Will all this tension break into a third World War?
The Closing Ceremony is the last large-scale event of the Games at which the Games are officially concluded. The athletes take part in a parade and the spectators again experience the exciting atmosphere of the Games.
At the Closing Ceremony the Games are officially concluded when the President of the IOC gives a ceremonial speech.
Alongside the speech by the President of the IOC/IPC, the Closing Ceremony also includes a number of official elements: the performance of the national anthem and the Greek national anthem (as the birthplace of the first Olympic Games), the lowering of the flags and the athletes’ parade, and the lowering of the Olympic Flag.
But, of course, the Closing Ceremony is also another colorful show, in which brilliant artists perform, just as in the Opening Ceremony. Attending the Closing Ceremony will leave you with memories which will stay with you your whole life.
Part of the Closing Ceremony program is an artistic performance put on by the next host city of the Games. At the Closing Ceremony in Sochi, after the flag handover ceremony, there will be a performance by artists from Korea – the country in which the next host city of the Winter Olympics, Pyeongchang, is situated.
The ceremony started with a blast of fireworks, followed by a projection of ac ountdown and moving onwards to musical presentations and dance performances, acting performances and much more. The proyectors in the Fisht stadium are capable of turning the hard floor into an ocean, a desert, or anything you can think of. Millions were spent in the lights of the stadium, in an attempt to outcome the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008.
Over one hundred and twenty thousand are curretnly watching the ceremony in Sochi, and millions are through television and internet.
In minutes, this presentation will pass to history to be remembered as one of the most beautiful Olypmic ceremonies in the world.
After recognizing their mistake in the opening ceremonies, when one of the mechanic Olympic rings did not open, Russia parodized the final formation of the rings by repeating the same mistake. The ring, formed by people, started closed and then opened. President Vladimir Putin laughed about it while the crowd cheered.
The Russian national anthem was sung, as it has been a tradition for the hosting country to sing it’s own. The choir, conformed by dozens of children, sang the anthem while the Russian flag was being raised. An orchestra accompanied the choir during the presentation.
Afterwards, a musical presentation was performed. Fast rythms of drums shook the stadium.
A parade of all the flags came next. Energic music was played throught the stadium. Then, all of the athletes of each country came out for a final walk through the stadium. The wining athletes were carrying their medals.
Speeches and final presentations were held, followed by the last of the victory ceremonies. The new members of the International Olympic Comitee were welcomed.
And finally, the artistic presentations that comemorate russian dance, painting, music, sculpture and many more.
This Sochi closing ceremony was truly one of the most beautiful in the world.
Parliament in Ukraine has named its speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, as interim president.
Turchynov takes charge following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday (read more of this here) . Mr Turchynov told MPs they had until Tuesday to form a new unity government.
Parliament also voted to seize Mr Yanukovych’s luxury estate near Kiev, which protesters entered on Saturday.
The whereabouts of Mr Yanukovych, who described parliament’s decision to vote him out as a coup, remain unclear.
Thousands of opposition supporters remain in Independence Square, where the atmosphere is described as calm, after weeks of violent clashes ending in the death of dozens.