"The Moscow-backed government of Crimea said Thursday that it will hold a referendum on whether to formally secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, dramatically escalating tension as the West tries to negotiate a withdrawal of Russian troops from the region."The Ukraine is a sovereign state that doesn't have a "government of Crimea." The state governs Crimea through its legislative representatives, local government elected and appointed officials, and representatives of the national military who are responsible for its security. This is the usual propaganda technique (check Saul Alinsky or any other handbook) of introducing a radical change in terms of reference and switching the debate to a question which has no validity in the first place.
There is no government of Crimea for Moscow to back or not to back. Therefore, there is nobody with the brief from the government of Ukraine to hold a referendum on secession. Negotiating from here means game over. Who is in charge of the government of Ukraine? Where did Klitschko disappear to?
Without a charismatic leader who can stand for Ukraine's sovereign integrity and independence, Mr. Putin is once again negotiating with himself. Should I withdraw or not? What a sad state of affairs.