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Russian Leader Defends Intervention in the Crimean Peninsula
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Trouble for the Ukraine began in November when the ousted President, Viktor Yanukovych, according to Voice of America, backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties and economic aid from Russia.

Following a news conference in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in Washington. It has been reported that President Vladimir Putin defended his country’s military intervention in the Crimean peninsula last week.

  
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Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman Maksim Prauta said Monday that four Russian navy ships were blocking Ukraine’s anti-submarine warship Ternopil and the command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol’s harbor. According to Fox News, he said that the Russians ordered the crew to surrender within the hour or face Russians storming and seizing the ships and crew.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Kiev on Tuesday and met with Ukraine’s interim leaders. John Kerry announced a $1 billion economic package and technical assistance for the new government. Kerry also condemned the presence of Russian troops in the Crimean peninsula as an “act of aggression.”

Russia has long wanted to reclaim the Crimean Peninsula, part of its territory until 1954. NATO is urging Russia to pull back its forces and seek a peaceful resolution. CNN News reported that Ukrainian interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has said, “This is a red alert. This is not a threat. This is actually a declaration of war to my country.”

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