Sergey Ponomarev / New York Times News Service
Armed men take up positions Saturday outside the Parliament building in Simferopol, in the Crimea region of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the Russian Senate to send troops to Ukraine, a strong response to U.S. President Barack Obamaís warning just hours earlier that Russia should respect Ukraineís sovereignty.
FILE -- Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, with Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych during a press conference at the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Dec. 17, 2013. Local reports suggest that Putin is protecting Ukraine's deposed president and the Russian Parliament has granted Putin the authority he sought to use military force in response to the deepening instability in Ukraine, a strong response to U.S. President Barack Obama's warning that Russia should respect Ukraine's sovereignty. (Mikhail Klimentiev/Pool via The New York Times) -- EDITORIAL USE ONLY.