Ukraine Beginning to Spiral Out of Control?

| Thu Apr. 24, 2014 9:29 AM EDT

Events in Ukraine are starting to spin out of control:

Ukrainian security forces killed “up to five” pro-Russian activists Thursday in the restive eastern part of the country, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, as Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned any use of the Ukrainian military against its own citizens.

....Putin spoke forcefully against the military action as the clashes were underway. “If the Kiev regime has started to use the army against the population inside the country, it, beyond any doubt, is a very serious crime,” Putin said at a media forum in St. Petersburg.

President Obama sounded glum about the prospects for peace in Ukraine and told reporters this morning that the US has "teed up" a new round of sanctions that could be implemented against Russia if they move troops across the border. This will have a limited impact since US trade with Russia is relatively small, but Reuters reports that EU leaders "have asked the EU executive arm, the European commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation." If they're serious, that would hurt Putin considerably worse than anything we could do on our own.

Stay tuned.

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