The Washington Post reports:
Heightened Russian military activity in Crimea on Friday prompted a stern warning from President Obama and a deepening sense of crisis among the leaders of the new Ukrainian government in Kiev.
U.S. officials said Russian troops had entered Crimea, and Obama told reporters Friday evening that he was “deeply concerned by reports of military movements” and that there “will be costs for any military intervention.”
Earlier in the day, the new Ukrainian government said that hundreds of soldiers in green camouflage, without insignia but carrying military-style automatic rifles, had taken over two airports in Crimea. Regularly scheduled flights continued, at least until nightfall, when the airspace above Crimea, a region of Ukraine with deep ties to Russia, was suddenly declared closed.
Internet videos of Russian military helicopters flying over Crimea’s muddy winter fields went viral Friday. Russian IL-76 planes suspected of carrying 2,000 troops landed at a military base in Gvardiysky, near the regional capital of Simferopol, according to Crimea’s ATR television.
It is looking more and more likely that Russia has invaded the Ukraine, and the end game is the effective annexation of the Crimea back into Russia, or at least Russian control.
My question is whether Putin would have done this, if there was a different US President? One could well argue yes, but I think if for example someone like Reagan was President, then Putin would not risk it. He is a bully, and bullies tend to respond to only one thing. I even think it may not have happened with Clinton (either one) as President.
One (Democratis supporting) commentator remarked on a podcast that when Obama talks about consequences, not even his daughters take him seriously!