The Federation Council (upper house) authorized today the use of Russian troops in Crimea to stabilize the situation in the Ukrainian autonomous republic with a majority of Russian-speaking population.
In an emergency meeting convened after a request from Vladimir Putin, the Senate unanimously gave the “green light ” to send troops to Crimea in response to the latest events in Ukraine, where a group of neo-nazis supported by western countries declared their legitimacy after the ouster of president Viktor Yanukovych.
The president of the Russian Senate, Valentina Matvienko, said the approval came into force immediately after its approval. “This decision is timely and important, and gives our president the ability to act in the field of legitimacy to defend the interests and rights of our people,” Matvienko said.
Putin ‘s plenipotentiary representative in the Senate, Grigori Karasin, said that the approval of the Senate to the president’s request does not mean the right acquired by the head of the Kremlin will be applied immediately.
Earlier, Putin asked the Senate authorization for the use of Russian troops in order to normalize the situation in the Ukrainian autonomous republic.
“Due to the extraordinary situation in Ukraine, the threat to the lives of the citizens of the Russian Federation, to the contingent of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation stationed in Ukraine, I request the Council Federation for authorization for the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine to aid in the to the socio-political normalization in that country, ” read the document issued by the Kremlin.
Ukrainian officials have denounced the taking of strategic infrastructure in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by Russian military, among others, the airport at Simferopol, the capital of the autonomous republic, the seat of the Border Guard in Sevastopol and the missile base of the Ukrainian Air Force.
Gunmen with assault rifles surrounded Simferopol airport, while members of the Russian Black Sea Fleet watch the seaport in Crimea – Caucasus, that links the Ukrainian territory by sea with Russia.
At the same time, a Russian landing ship of the ” Zubr ” class, capable of carrying marines and heavy armor, entered the commercial port of Feodosia, where it remains docked, according to local media of the town of Crimea.
Seven combat helicopters and eight fighter aircraft violated Ukrainian airspace yesterday, while a column of ten Russian armored vehicles entered Simferopol.
The Border Guard of Ukraine has declared that its ships have gone into the open sea in a state of combat alert to protect Ukrainian military objectives.