On February 26th, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered “a test of combat readiness for troops stationed in a region that touches Ukraine’s northern border.”
This follows “growing tension between Russia and Ukraine” and the popular ouster of “pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych.”
Ukrainians have issued a warrant for Yanukoych’s arrest, who appears to be hiding in “Crimea, a pro-Russian region on the Black Sea.”
According to The Wall Street Journal, after Putin’s readiness decree “1400 troops were put on alert in the Western Military District as well as Units stationed with the 2nd Army Central Military District Command involved in aerospace defense, airborne troops, and long-range military transport aircraft.”
On February 25th, “the head of Russia’s upper house ruled out military intervention”–calling it “impossible.” But the Ukrainians are not taking any chances. As Yanukovych was fleeing, they tracked him as far as Crimea but then backed off, “for fear of causing a reaction from ‘foreign forces.'”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins.