FROM Andrew Wood
Fast Moving Events in Ukraine In the Ukrainian province of Crimea, Russian supporters seized a government building today. Russia will grant protection to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian troops are conducting exercises on the Ukrainian border. After a meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels today, US Defense Secretary Hagel issued a warning . "I expect Russia to be transparent about these activities, and I urge them not to take any steps that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation during a … time with great tension." Andrew Wood is Associate Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House in London. He was British Ambassador to Moscow from 1995 until 2000.
Ukraine: More Dangerously Divided than Ever Riot police used clubs, shields and tear gas to attack lines of hand-holding demonstrators early this morning in Kiev, Ukraine's capital city. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed " disgust " at the use of force against a peaceful protest. It started almost three weeks ago when President Viktor Yanukovych spurned a deal with the European Union, apparently under pressure from Russia. Now it's about civil rights and demands for him to step down. We update today's action, the role of billionaire oligarchs and the international fallout.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.