Russia Takes Complete Control Of Crimean Peninsula, John Kerry Says ‘What Reset?”

The Wall Street Journal has the latest bad news out of Ukraine. Russia has taken complete control of the Crimean Peninsula and appears to be preparing for an occupation.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Sunday that his country was “on the brink of disaster” and personally blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for bringing the two nations to the verge of war.

With more than 6,000 airborne and naval forces, Russia has taken complete operational control over the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and appears to be preparing to occupy the territory, a senior Obama administration official said Sunday.

“Russian forces now have complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula, some 6,000-plus airborne and naval forces, with considerable materiel,” the official said in a briefing for reporters. “There is no question that they are in an occupation position in Crimea, that they are flying in reinforcements, and they are settling in.”

The U.S. has condemned the deployments, and officials said the Russians will pay a political and economic cost for its military intervention in Ukraine. (Read More)

I guess Obama’s phone call asking Putin to stop didn’t work. Maybe he should have said “pretty please.”

John Kerry will travel to Kiev on Tuesday. On Sunday he was asked if the reset with Russia was a failure, and Kerry answered “I don’t know what you mean about reset” and then went on to name a few areas where Russia has been cooperative. “It’s a question of differences, very profound differences on certain issues and certain approaches,” he told David Gregory. That’s one way of putting it.

Update: The Financial Times came up with a doozy of a headline: Putin cooks up Obama’s chicken Kiev moment. Ouch.