A Wary Ukraine Watches for Putin's Next Move

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Tensions have heightened on the Crimean Peninsula after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed control of the region.

On Tuesday, a proud Putin declared to thousands of cheering supporters in Moscow's Red Square that Crimea was finally back on the Russian map.

"Today is a very joyful and festive day," he said.

Putin's bold military moves have left much of the world reeling and on edge.

"The crisis in Ukraine is the most serious test of European security in the 21st century so far," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.

***What is Putin's end game? Will he stop at Crimea? Dr. Mary Manjikian, with Regent University's Robertson School of Government, addressed those questions and more on CBN News Today, March 19.

In Ukraine, unease and despair are setting in as the political crisis takes its toll.

Months after tens of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets of Kiev, there is still an air of uncertainty that lingers over this nation.

"Business is worsening," Mohammed, a merchant in Odessa, said.

Meanwhile, a weak Ukraine government can only watch as Russia continues to deploy more troops along its border.

On Wednesday morning, armed gunmen stormed the Ukrainian naval base in Crimea, raising the Russian flag. It came a day after a Ukrainian officer was killed by Russian forces.

Oleksandr Turchynov, the Baptist Christian president who leads Ukraine's interim government, called Putin's actions a threat to the world.

"I would like to remind you of the history: World War II started with the annexation of the territory of other countries by fascist Germany," Turchynov noted.

"Today the president of Russia, Mr. Putin, who likes to talk about fascism a lot, is copying the fascists of the last century," he said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Putin that he was on "the wrong side of history."

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden, who is traveling in Poland, said America will consider sending additional troops to the region to reassure Eastern European allies.

"We are exploring a number of additional steps to increase the pace and scope of our military co-operation, including rotating U.S. forces to the Baltic region to conduct ground and naval exercises -- as well as training missions," Biden said.

But will increased U.S. and European sanctions be enough to stop an advancing Putin? Many believe not.

For now, leaders in Kiev and Western capitals can only watch and worry about how far the Russian leader will go.

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CBN News
George Thomas

George Thomas

CBN News Sr. Reporter

CBN News is a national/international, nonprofit news organization that provides programming 24 hours a day by cable, satellite and the Internet.