The Russians have gone far in consolidating their hold on Crimea today, as is apparent in our updated map:
Checkpoints were reported established at Armyansk and Chonhar, the two main border crossings in to Crimea. And the ferry terminal at Kerch, which is only a few kilometers away from the Russian mainland and an ideal crossing point for reinforcements, was seized by Russian troops.Early in the day, Interfax Ukraine was reporting that Russian forces issued an ultimatum to Ukrainian soldiers stationed in barracks across the peninsula to give up unconditionally by 5AM local time on Tuesday or face unspecified consequences. Later on in the day, Ukrainian reports claimed that Russia had demanded Ukraine surrender two of its warships at Sevastopol. Russian officials laughed off these allegations as preposterous, but did not elaborate.Astute readers will note that we have modified our map to include pro-Russian protests in Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk. In truth, we had missed that protests took place in both towns on Saturday. Today, there were reports of a comparatively small number protesters demonstrating outside government buildings in Odessa. And perhaps in an effort to forestall further trouble in Dnipropetrovsk, a Kiev-appointed billionaire arrived to assume governorship of the region today.Meanwhile, in Yanukovych’s home town of Donetsk, hundreds of protesters stormed the regional government building, besieging lawmakers inside.