What to make of events in the Ukraine? It is a difficult situation and we are being bombarded by opinion pieces and propaganda. The battle lines are drawn in the sand altough we are still at the diplomatic stage. China has backed Russia's stance on the Ukraine. As China is an old ally of Russia and is facing its own separationist problems that one was a no-brainer. Likewise France, the UK, Canada and the USA are cozying up, again a no-brainer. Putin has told German leader Angela Merkel that he is acting appropriately but according to the Guardian she has said Putin has lost the plot.
Here are the latest news reports in brief, plus information, in what is an increasingly worrying crisis.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague visited the Ukraine Monday and met with the countries Prime Minister.
Russia still maintains that ousted leader Viktor Yanukovytch is the legitimate leader of the country. The west and many Ukrainians especially in Kiev disagree on that score.
Hague went on to say that the crisis in the Ukraine is the biggest threat Europe has faced in the 21st Century but remember we are only 13 years into this century and there have already been many other threats to world peace.
Russian President Vladimir Putin maintains that Russia has the right to protect its interests in the region.
Monday Putin vowed Russian troops will stay in the region, at least until the situation stabilises.
Hague has said that Russia could face the boot from the G8 group of economic allies.
The Ukraine was part of Russia until 1954.
As a non democratically elected leader many pundits believe Putin is risking peace in Russia by his actions against the Ukraine.
The country has strategic importance to both the west and the east.
Putin insists the 'threat of ultranationalists' forced him to intervene in the Ukraine.
Europe is facing a rise in far right political exremist groups and neo nazis.
Hague has said that if Russia does not pull back from the Ukraine there will have to be other "cosequences and costs".
What they will be is any persons guess.
Opinion: One hundred years ago WWI shattered world peace and a little over 20 years later was followed by WWII. Both had a great cost in life, infrastructure, money and so much more. War should always be avoided at all costs but there comes a time when it is inevitable. We are not at that stage yet but are going through the preliminary motions of war preparations. Some of it is the political game of bluff but only time will tell. Perhaps if the threat of war was closer to home many Americans would view it differently. As it is, once more European peace is under threat. Here we tend to fear communism a little less than the far-right which is gradually making political headway due to austerity and crumbling economies. Politicians will have their own country's interests at the forefront of what happens next and we may be in for a bumpy ride. Related reading: