Russia Has 'Full Operational Control' Of Crimea: U.S.

As Russian forces expand their strategic control over Crimea, Ukraine interim Prime Minister says the country will "never give up" on the region.
Posted at 12:03 PM, Mar 03, 2014

As Russian forces continue to move through Crimea, expanding strategic control over the region — Ukraine's interim Prime Minister says the country will "never give up" on the peninsula. 

Ukraine has ordered a full military mobilization in response to Russia's build-up of forces in the autonomous region as the U.S. conceded Monday that Russia now has "full operational control over the Crimean peninsula." (Via CNN

Senior U.S. officials now admit Russia has successfully invaded Crimea with a force of around 6,000 troops — a move they say may mark the beginning to a wider invasion. (Via The Wall Street Journal)

Ukrainian State Border Security Service said there were several attacks on border posts in eastern Crimea late Sunday.

The reports indicate that men wearing unidentified camouflage uniforms carried out the assaults, and that armored vehicles are now massing on Russia's side of a narrow sea crossing. (Via ABC)

Despite reports that Ukraine is mobilizing troops in response, the country's Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the press Monday there were currently “no military options on the table." (Via The Guardian)

Russia has defied calls from its G8 partners to deescalate in Crimea, rejecting accusations that it's acting aggressively.

The Kremlin says it will only use military force to protect Russian-speaking citizens in the peninsula, accusing Ukraine's new interim government of attacking minorities and violating human rights. (Via ITV)

The G8, which includes the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada, have threatened to expel Russia from the group, issuing a joint statement Sunday condemning the Kremlin's actions as a “clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine." (Via AlJazeera)

British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who traveled to Kiev Sunday, told the BBC the turmoil in Ukraine is the "biggest crisis in Europe in the 21st century." 

And U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russia's actions "an incredible act of aggression." He is now scheduled to make an emergency visit to Kiev to meet with Ukraine's interim government. Administration officials say the White House is "considering all options" when it comes to the crisis in Ukraine.