Ukraine mobilizes for war after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had right to invade

KIEV/BALACLAVA: Ukraine mobilised for war today, after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to invade, creating the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk, head of a pro-Western government that took power when Russian ally Viktor Yanukovich fled last week, said this is not a threat, but a declaration of war to his country.

Putin obtained permission from his parliament on Saturday to use military force to protect Russian citizens in Ukraine, spurning Western pleas not intervene.

Russian forces have already bloodlessly seized Crimea – an isolated Black Sea peninsula where Moscow has a naval base. On Sunday they surrounded several small Ukrainian military outposts there and demanded the Ukrainian troops disarm. Some refused, although no shots were fired.

Russia has staged war games with 150,000 troops along the land border, but so far they have not crossed.