As Crimea's pro-Russia government declares its independence and prepares for Sunday's vote on whether or not it will join Russia, Ukraine appears to willing (or at least resigned) to let it go.
Ukraine acting president Oleksandr Turchynov told the AFP today that while he believes the upcoming vote is a "sham," his country's military will not intervene should Crimea secede, as he believes that would leave Ukraine's eastern border exposed to Russia forces.
"Significant [Russian] tank units are massed near Ukraine's eastern border," Turchynov said. "They're provoking us to have a pretext to intervene on the Ukrainian mainland... (but) we cannot follow the scenario written by the Kremlin."
Yet Turchynov also said Ukraine would "react" should Russia "spread aggression on the continent."
Ukraine's new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, will meet with President Obama tomorrow. Turchynov is hoping that the United States and Europe will help his country to "force Russia to stop this military aggression and these provocations against Ukraine."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.