Russia Continues to Infiltrate the Crimean Peninsula

The U.S., uninterested in pursuing military action, considers its diplomatic options.

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Protesters hold up placards during a demonstration against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine at the Russian Embassy in Riga, Latvia, March 2, 2014.

ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images

Russia has gained control over Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula without any reported violent resistance, Fox News reports. According to the news site, so far a shot has yet to be fired.

A senior official in the Obama administration considers it an occupation position in the peninsula, telling reporters on Sunday that Russia had "complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula, some 6,000-plus airborne and naval forces, with considerable [equipment].

"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 official said.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has voiced concern over how far Russia intends to send troops into Ukraine, calling it "the biggest" crisis in 21st-century Europe: "This is a very tense and dangerous situation that Russia's intervention has now produced."

The U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain—also known as the Group of Seven nations—have all shown their disapproval of Russia’s occupation of the country, which was formerly part of the Soviet Union. In a joint statement, these nations, which have suspended plans to participate in the upcoming G-8 summit in Sochi, said:

We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the President of the European Council and President of the European Commission, join together today to condemn the Russian Federation’s clear violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, in contravention of Russia’s obligations under the UN Charter and its 1997 basing agreement with Ukraine. We call on Russia to address any ongoing security or human rights concerns that it has with Ukraine through direct negotiations, and/or via international observation or mediation under the auspices of the UN or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. We stand ready to assist with these efforts.

Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to travel to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital, to meet with officials. He is considering economic sanctions, visa bans and freezing Russia’s assets, among other actions, the Associated Press reports.