Chancellor Angela Merkel has issued an ultimatum to Russia over what she called its annexation of Crimea: Back down or face strong measures from the European Union. Accusing Moscow of acting by the “law of the jungle” in an address to parliament on Thursday, Merkel said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions are a clear breach of international law and threatened full-fledged economic sanctions.

March 13, 2014

Topless demonstrators in Ukraine are part of the self-defined “sextremist” Femen group – radical women protesting the Russian invasion of Crimea. 

Russia Today has asked five questions which it claims the West hasn’t answered. Here they are, with answers: 1. Why did the opposition oust Yanukovich after he conceded to their demands? They didn’t. Yanukovych fled Ukraine before fulfilling his commitments under the 21 February agreement.

It's a good time to have friends in Eastern Europe. Leaders in the region, who have reacted to Russia's occupation of Crimea by expressing fears that they could be next, are now taking solace in their alliances. "Thanks be to God, we are NATO members," exclaimed Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite last week.

March 11, 2014

Recent developments in Ukraine have been nothing less than astonishing -- and that's just as true of seasoned observers of Eastern Europe as it is of everyone else. Russia's bold and illegal military intervention issues a startling challenge not just to Ukrainian independence but also to the very foundations of the post-war liberal order. 

But it's nuts to talk about Ukraine the same way. Putin didn't invade Crimea because the decadent West was aimlessly sunning itself on a warm beach somewhere. He invaded Crimea because America and the EU had been vigorously promoting their interests in a country with deep historical ties to Russia.

Less than a week before Crimea's referendum, emotions are running high. Residents of the southeast Ukrainian peninsula who want to see their region cede from the nation and officially become part of Russia sense victory is round the corner. The U.S. and Europe say the vote -- and the Russian invasion that prompted it -- are illegal, but CBS News' Elizabeth Palmer reports that thousands of pro-Russia demonstrators on the streets of regional capital Sevastopol don't care.

Crimea, which made its debut in most Americans’ consciousness by way of being recently invaded by Russia, is an extremely picturesque tourist destination. While news media is inundated by images of Russian military forces occupying the Ukrainian peninsula, the businesses that depend on Crimea’s normally-robust $5 billion tourism industry are wringing their hands.