Mar 3, 2014 5:09 PM by CNN
The United Nations Security Council held a meeting Monday to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Here are the latest developments:
-- Russia's U.N. envoy said Monday that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych asked Russia to send troops to "establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability, and defending the people of Ukraine." Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin read a letter from Yanukovych at the U.N. Security Council meeting.
"Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. In the country, there is chaos and anarchy. The life, the security and the rights of people, particularly in the southeast part in Crimea are being threatened. So under the influence of Western countries, there are open acts of terrorism and violence. People are being persecuted for language and political reasons," the letter said. "So in this regard, I would call on the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, asking him to use the armed forces of the Russian Federation to establish legitimacy, peace, law and order, stability, and defending the people of Ukraine."
-- Russia's ambassador to the United Nations said Russia's aim in Ukraine is to stop radical extremists who are destabilizing the country. "We're talking about defending our citizens and our compatriots, on defending the most important human right, the right to life," Churkin said.
-- Russian troops are mobilizing in Ukraine in response to an "imaginary threat," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said.
"Russian military action is not a human rights protection mission, it is a violation of international law," Power said.
Meanwhile, in Crimea, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Vladislav Seleznyov told CNN on Monday that up to 12 trucks full of Russian troops have crossed into the eastern Crimean city of Kerch from Russia.
Additionally, Ukrainian Border Service Assistant Chief Colonel Sergei Astakhov described Russian troop movements by ferry from Russia across the Strait of Kerch in a phone conversation. Astakhov said the first two ferries carrying armed men were navigating towards the ferry dock and border post in Kerch. As the ferries approached the port, 10 heavily armed troops from the Russian Black Sea Fleet attacked the border post from land and used force to overwhelm the Ukrainian border guards, Astakhov said.
Here's a look at the latest development in the Ukraine crisis:
In Crimea: Russia consolidated its hold on the peninsula. Russian troops arrived at a ferry crossing in Kerch, across a narrow sea channel where Ukrainian border guards reported seeing armored vehicles massing. The atmosphere remained calm, CNN's Ben Wedeman reported, with the troops milling about and clearly not on high alert.
In Kiev: Tension pervaded the capital city Monday as residents awaited Russia's next move. Ukraine's political leaders appealed to world powers to help stop Russia and vowed to stand up to any further Russian moves. "Nobody will give Crimea away," interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said. "There are no grounds for the use of force against civilians and Ukrainians, and for the entry of the Russian military contingent."
In Russia: Moscow denied a report in Russian state media claiming it had issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian forces to clear out of Crimea by Tuesday morning or face a "military storm." Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov brushed aside claims that Russia's troop movements were an act of aggression. "I repeat: This is a matter of defending our citizens and our compatriots, of defending the most important human right -- the right to life," he said.
In diplomacy: British Foreign Minister William Hague and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Kiev to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the country's shaky new government. In an interview with the BBC, Hague promised that Russia's decision to send troops to Crimea would bring "significant costs." The United Nations Security Council and European foreign ministers were to meet Monday in an emergency session to discuss Ukraine.
In the markets: Stocks fell across the world as investors chewed on the potential impacts of a ramped-up conflict in Ukraine. Russian stock indexes dipped as much as 13%. European stock markets were off sharply, as well -- as much as 3%. In the United States, the benchmark Dow Jones index fell 0.7% in early trading.
How we got here: Last year, the former Ukrainian President's decision to scrap a European trade deal and turn toward Russia for aid inflamed anger in Ukraine's pro-European west and protesters took to the streets. Last month, those protests turned violent. A peace deal brokered by European foreign ministers evaporated into chaos as the President fled the capital, eventually turning up in Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow began warning of threats to ethnic Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians, many of whom live in eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, where Russia has a major military base.
On Thursday, pro-Russian gunmen seized several government buildings in the Crimean capital of Simferopol. On Friday, mysterious troops appeared outside airports in Crimea. On Saturday, the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin authority to send troops to Ukraine. Russian forces began flooding the peninsula.
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