Security camera footage uploaded by Reuters show the moment armed men seized a government building in the Crimean city of Simferopol.
On Saturday, Russian armed forces occupied Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, after the Russian Parliament authorized President Vladimir Putin to use military force in order to control the chaos in the Ukraine.
On Friday, President Barack Obama used strong language to warn Russia against invading Ukrainian territory, saying: “We are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine … Any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe. It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.
“It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws.”
The authorization given by the Russian parliament was based on a threat to the lives of Russian citizens and soldiers stationed in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine, essentially thumbing Russia’s nose at the American president.
According to the Reuters, heavily armed soldiers had tightened their grip on the Crimean capital, Simferopol on Thursday night, even before Putin’s statement in Moscow. The Russians surrounded government buildings, as can be sen in the video below, shuttered the airport, and blocked city streets.