Russian troops seize gas terminal past Crimean border, Ukraine says – Europe news – Boston.com

Serve Him in the Waiting

SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine — Tensions mounted on the eve of a secession referendum in Crimea as helicopter-borne Russian forces made a provocative incursion just beyond the peninsula’s regional border to seize a natural gas terminal while US and European officials prepared sanctions to impose on Moscow as early as Monday.

The military operation by at least 80 troops landing on a slender sand bar just across Crimea’s northeast border seemed part of a broader effort to strengthen control over the peninsula before a vote Sunday on whether its majority Russian-speaking population wants to demand greater autonomy from Ukraine or break completely and join Russia. Whatever its goals, it sent a defiant message to the United States and Europe and underscored that a diplomatic resolution to Russia’s recent takeover of Crimea remains elusive.

The raid came as US and European diplomats essentially forced Russia to veto a UN Security Council resolution declaring…

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