WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says Russia is “on the wrong side of history” in Ukraine and its actions violate international law.
Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday that the United States is considering economic and diplomatic options that will isolate Russia. The president called on Congress to work on an aid package to Ukraine and make it the “first order of business.”
Obama said continued military actions in Ukraine “will be a costly proposition for Russia.”
The Associate Press’s Tim Sullivan reports from Novo-Ozerne, a small town in Crimea divided since tension spiked between Ukraine and Russia.
For years, the little Crimean town was closed off from the rest of the world, a secretive community, at the edge of a key Soviet naval base, sealed by roadblocks and armed guards.
Today, to get to Novo-Ozerne, you just follow a pitted two-lane road far into the Crimean countryside, past collective farms abandoned decades ago and villages where it’s hard to see any life, even at midday.
There’s not much in town anymore, just the occasional ship that has sailed up the Black Sea inlet to this isolated spot, a handful of crumbling navy buildings, and an armory ringed by barbed wire.
But the Russians want it.
And the little forgotten town is now sharply divided, torn between those who welcomed the arrival here over the weekend of dozens of Russian soldiers wearing unmarked uniforms, and those who back the Ukrainians who are refusing to surrender their weapons.
Read the full story here.
A U.S. official told Reuters that President Barack Obama is holding a high-level meeting on the Ukraine crisis with top military and national security advisers at the White House.
Sergei Markov, a Putin ally and former Russian lawmaker, said the pro-Russian Crimean government will cut off water and electricity to Ukrainian soldiers besieged in their military bases on Monday night, Reuters reports.