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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Latest Updates on Ukraine Crisis

The Lede is following events in Ukraine and Russia on Saturday, following a unanimous vote in the upper house of the Russian Parliament approving a request from President Vladimir Putin to send a military force to Ukraine until, state media reports from Moscow, the “the socio-political situation in the country is stabilized.” Updates below mix breaking news with dispatches from Times correspondents and firsthand accounts of events on the ground posted on social networks by bloggers and journalists in Crimea and other parts of Ukraine.

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11:44 A.M. Russian Council Urges Recall of Ambassador to U.S.

As my colleagues Alison Smale and David Herszenhorn report, the vote to approve President Vladimir Putin’s request to use military force in Ukraine passed the upper house of the Russian Parliament, the Federaon Council, unanimously. Max Seddon, a former Associated Press correspondent now reporting for Buzzfeed, caught an image of the vote tally, and a flavor of the pro-invasion fervor in the chamber, as the session was broadcast live on Russian state television.

Christopher Miller, an editor at the English-language Kyiv Post who also report for Mashable, noted that the language of the resolution authorized the use of force in any part of Ukraine, not just the Crimean peninsula where masked Russian troops had deployed on Friday after part of the region’s Russian majority took to the streets in opposition to the new authorities in Kiev.

As the Global Voice blogger Kevin Rothrock explains, the Federation Council also urged Mr. Putin to recall the Russian ambassador to “the evil empire,” of the United States, after what the deputy speaker, Yuri Vorobyov, called “a direct threat” and an insult to the Russian people in President Obama’s remarks on Friday, in which he said that “the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.”

The standoff over Ukraine comes at an awkward time for the State Department, since Michael McFaul, the former American ambassador in Moscow, just left Russia and has not yet been replaced. Although he no longer holds an official post, Mr. McFaul has continued efforts to discourage of Russian military intervention this week on television and through his popular Twitter feed.