Image copyright www.nydailynews.com
By Olga Rudenko and Jabeen Bhatti
Special for USA Today, Copyright 2014 USA Today
SEVASTOPOL, UKRAINE — Ukrainian officials were tense Sunday, ordering up all military reservists to active duty while in the Crimean region in the south of the country, road traffic was blocked as telecommunications remained sporadic — two days after communication centers were seized by unknown armed men.
“The situation is very serious — the Russian army is blocking military bases of Ukraine in Crimea ... They issued an ultimatum demanding that our soldiers disarm themselves or the bases will be stormed, said Ukraine’s interim president and parliament speaker, Oleksandr Turchinov, on Sunday.
Speaking after a closed session of parliament in Kiev, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said his country “was on the brink of national disaster” and that if [Russian] President Putin wants to be the president who starts the war between two friendly and neighboring countries, he is inches away from doing it.”
“This is not a threat, this is actually a declaration of war to my country,” he added.
On Sunday, the interim government in Kiev said the military must be combat-ready as unidentified gunmen — thought to be Russian soldiers — were reported to be surrounding Ukrainian military and naval bases in Crimea, the strategic Black Sea peninsula.