Nightly News | March 02, 2014
>> over the future of ukraine escalated with russian combat troops seizing control of the criman peninsula after a bloody showdown. ukraine 's prime minister is calling it a declaration of war . tonight, his country's outgunned and outnumbered army, while u.s. is working to punish russia economically and politically. late word that u.s. secretary of state john kerry will soon be on his way to the region. we're covering developments from washington to crimea , which is where bill neely starts off tonight. bill?
>> reporter: without tanks, without firing a single shot . ukraine 's navy is either under russian guard, its army now surrounded by moscow's men. russian soldiers on the march in ukraine . this unit is taking up positions outside a ukrainian army base. the objective? to take it from troops who were once their comrades in the soviet army . times and loyalties have changed. the russians have come prepared for a fight. behind the gate, the ukrainian troops are dressed for combat, but look bewildered and no wonder. their country has been invaded. their homeland, crimea taken over. two armys in a tense standoff. it's been decades since we've seen as clear a russian takeover in eastern europe as this one. and so far there's no sign whatsoever that the ukrainian soldiers behind that gate are going to put up a fight. the russians ordered them to lay down their weapons or there would be trouble. carrying knives, who looked just as anxious. now surrounded there's no word on whether they have been ordered to fight or surrender. russia has taken crimea without firing a shot. it's taken just three days. russian troops occupying a region that's pulling away from ukraine fast with the full support of most of its people.
>> much population of russian people .
>> reporter: ensuring no one pulls down the statue of lenin as they've done across western ukraine . his orders may now come from moscow. russian ships now guard the coast. ukraine 's navy has gone. its prime minister says the russian takeover amounts to a declaration of war . ukraine 's army in crimea is pinned down and humiliated. in the rest of ukraine , its army is in combat alert, its reserves have been immobilized. saying we are on the brink of disaster. but there's no sign it's going to fight the russians for crimea .