Pro-Russians took over another Ukrainian military base in Crimea, and Poland asked the US to send more troops to Europe to strengthen NATO’s defenses against Russia. From The Telegraph:
A crowd believed to be at least 200 strong attacked the base in the town of Novofedorivka and smashed windows in the base. Ukrainain servicemen inside tried to repel them by throwing smoke bombs from the roof. Crimea voted last Sunday to split from Ukraine and become part of Russia, in a referendum condemned as illegal by the West.
After Crimea declared their independence from Ukraine, the government said they would seize Ukraine property and disband the Ukrainian military in the peninsula. On March 18, one Ukrainian soldier was killed when pro-Russian forces took control of a base in Simferopol.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia on Tuesday and Wednesday to assure NATO allies the US will defend them if Russia continues to pose a threat. Despite this, Poland’s defense minister told a radio station the US should do more.
“The US must increase its presence in (central and eastern) Europe, also in Poland,” said Tomasz Siemoniak, the Polish defence minister, in a radio interview with on Saturday. He was speaking in the wake of a visit by Joe Biden, the US vice-president, to Poland on Tuesday, where Mr BIden confirmed existing plans to deploy a US missile shield in Poland by 2018.
Mr Siemoniak added: “We will be talking about the details and I am happy that representatives of the U.S., the U.S. vice president are open towards these talks.”
Alarms went off after the Russian ambassador said Moscow is ready to grant Russian citizenship to ethnic Russians in Latvia. A Russian diplomat also told the United Nations Human Rights Council Moscow is worried about the language rights of ethnic Russians in Estonia. The ex-Soviet states are worried they might be Russian President Vladimir Putin’s next target.