Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Ukraine-Russia Crisis in 26 Nail-Biting Numbers

845,000 Russian troops plus 1,389 Russian combat aircraft plus a $115,000 wild boar statue equals big trouble.

 

Update: On Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin harshly criticized Ukraine's new leadership, calling the crisis an "unconstitutional coup." He said that Russia is not planning to annex Crimea and he would leave it up to citizens in the region to determine their future. He did not take the option of using military force off the table and said it would be used as "a last resort." 

Last month, the world's eyes turned to Russia to see if President Vladimir Putin could manage to get hotel showers ready in time for the Sochi Olympics. Just a few weeks later, Putin once again has the international community waiting in suspense, but for a very different reason. The world is waiting to find out if Russia will launch a full-scale armed assault on Ukraine. After months of anti-government protests in Ukraine—sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych's rejection of a European Union trade deal—the rubber-stamp Russian parliament authorized Putin to send military forces into Ukraine on March 1. The action is reportedly being undertaken to protect the Russian population in the Crimean Peninsula, where, conveniently, Russia also has strong economic and political interests.

As Putin shoots spitballs into the faces of Western leaders—who, remembering the Cold War, aren't expected to take much action in response to the crisis—Ukraine is mobilizing forces, preparing to take on a military that is far better equipped than its own. The Obama administration has declared that it is prepared to enact sanctions and come up with other consequences if Russia continues to move forward; European Union leaders are having an emergency summit Thursday. Here's what you need to know about the ongoing crisis, in 26 numbers: 

Update: $1 billion: US loan guarantees that Secretary of State John Kerry has promised Ukraine's new government.

For the rest of the story: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/ukraine-russia-crimea-stats

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