Tension and fears are mounting
And here are some other pieces that break down what is happening:
For a Russian invasion, it all feels very strange. The vibe on the ground in Crimea ebbs and flows from feeling like an eerie standoff to relaxed normalcy.
Crimea has become the flashpoint in a geopolitical crisis that's got London, Washington, the U.N. and NATO flustered. But so far, there isn't much of a dust up in the actual place where the troops invaded.
Russia approved the use of military force in Ukraine on Saturday, despite warnings of consequences from the West, and Ukraine responded by saying any invasion into its territory would be illegitimate.
The acting prime minister has gone so far as to say that a Russian invasion would mean war and an end to his country's relationship with Russia.
But there are so many questions as to how Ukraine arrived at this point: Why is Russia so interested in happenings there? Why does the West want to prevent Russian intervention? How did we get here? Why have thousands of protesters staked their lives, seemingly, on their desire for political change? And why has the government resisted their calls so vehemently?
Russia showed no signs of backing down Monday even as world leaders threatened sanctions and sternly rebuked the country for sending troops into Ukraine.
At an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the unfolding crisis, Ukraine's envoy asked for help, saying that Russia had used planes, boats and helicopters to flood the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea with 16,000 troops in the past week.
Above all, we believe that the Ukrainian people should be able to decide their own future.
The European Union will consider sanctions against Russia if there is no deescalation in the Ukraine crisis, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday.
Possible sanctions will be on the agenda when EU leaders meet Thursday, he said via Twitter.
Lavrov - Forces in Crimea
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed President Vladimir Putin's denial that Russian troops are in control in Crimea, saying that the troops in question are "self-defense" forces over whom Russia has no control.
Decisions on whether international observers should be sent into Ukraine are for leaders in the country to make, he said. He pointed out that the newly installed pro-Russian government in Crimea does not see the authorities in Kiev as legitimate.
"This problem is multi-faceted. In order to calm the situation down everyone must act in accordance with the law," he said Wednesday.
1 of 7
1 of 6