On March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Russia’s upper house Federation Council to authorize use of armed forces in Ukraine.
He issued a statement, saying:
“Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine and a threat being posed to the lives of Russian nationals, our compatriots, and the Russian military contingent stationed in Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) in compliance with international agreements, I ask the Federation Council for permit to use Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine until social and political situation in the country stabilizes.”
Under Article 102 of Russia’s Constitution, Federation Council members are responsible for deciding whether to deploy government troops externally.
On Saturday, at 11:23 EST, they voted unanimously to do so. This development and much more will be discussed in forthcoming articles.