Russia sends troops into Ukraine’s Crimean region

by Anne Millerbernd

Russian troops moved into Crimea on Saturday to protect Russian interests in Ukraine, according to news sources, a move President Barack Obama advised against Friday.

The Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin permission to use military force to protect Russian interests in the area, despite President Barack Obama’s warnings against military intervention, according to the Associated Press.

The president had advised Putin on Friday that "there will be costs" if the Russian military intervenes.

According to a statement issued by the White House, Obama expressed his concern over Russia’s “clear violation of the Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” during a phone conversation with Putin on Saturday, USA Today reported.

Obama warned that if Putin didn’t put a stop to the violation, it would affect his standing in the international community, according to USA Today.

The Kremlin website said Putin told Obama that Russia maintains the right to send its troops into predominantly Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine because of threats to Russian citizens in Ukrainian territory, according to the Associated Press.

Ukraine’s United Nations Ambassador, Yuriy Sergeyev, claimed Russia had 15,000 troops in Crimea in an open U.N. meeting Saturday, USA Today reported.