Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister has openly mocked Barack Obama after the U.S. President announced the toughest Western sanctions against Russia since the Cold War.
After Crimea’s declaration of independence Monday from Ukraine, Washington and the European Union retaliated with asset freezes and travel bans and Obama vowing to “increase the cost” if the Kremlin does not back down.
Ukraine’s turmoil has become Europe’s most severe security crisis in years and tensions have been high since Russian troops seized control of Crimea, a strategic Black Sea peninsula that has now decided to merge with Russia. Russian troops are also massed near the border with Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s acting president raised tensions on the ground by calling for the activation of some 20,000 military reservists and volunteers across the country and for the mobilization of another 20,000 in the recently formed national guard.
AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY
In the Crimean capital…
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