The Slatest

Putin Declares Crimea a “Sovereign and Independent” State

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin attends an awarding ceremony for Russian athletes, winners of the XI Paralympic Olympic games, in Sochi on March 17, 2014.


In an act that few nations will recognize, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially signed a decree late on Monday declaring Crimea, which overwhelmingly voted to secede from Ukraine on Sunday in a highly disputed election, a “sovereign and independent state.” The edict came just hours after the U.S. and EU imposed targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on several high-ranking Russians and Ukrainians.

The move shows Putin, with troops still massed at the Russian-Ukrainain border, has no intention of backing down – or at least that’s what he wants us to believe along with the fact that he’s lost his mind. According to the AP, Putin isn’t the only one publicly scoffing at the U.S.

“Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Have you not thought about it?” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin [one of the top Russian officials hit by sanctions] tweeted. “I think the decree of the President of the United States was written by some joker.”

Tomorrow Putin will address his country’s parliament on the situation in Crimea and possible annexation of the region. The U.S. and EU will no doubt consider ratcheting up sanctions on Russia, which are now already the toughest since the Cold War.