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Ukraine developments

By Samira Jafari, CNN
updated 4:35 PM EST, Wed March 5, 2014
Ukrainian tanks are transported from their base in Perevalne, Crimea, on Wednesday, March 26. After Russian troops seized most of Ukraine's bases in Crimea, interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered the withdrawal of armed forces from the peninsula, citing Russian threats to the lives of military staff and their families. Ukrainian tanks are transported from their base in Perevalne, Crimea, on Wednesday, March 26. After Russian troops seized most of Ukraine's bases in Crimea, interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov ordered the withdrawal of armed forces from the peninsula, citing Russian threats to the lives of military staff and their families.
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(CNN) -- Things are moving very fast in Ukraine. Here are Wednesday's latest developments:

U.N. envoy leaving Ukraine

U.N. envoy to Ukraine Robert Serry is leaving the country and headed to Istanbul, Turkey, according to tweets from James Mates of CNN affiliate ITV. Mates tweeted that Serry said "he feels for the people" in Crimea, "and the fact he's being forced to leave shows how serious the situation is." Serry was threatened by armed men and kept from leaving a Crimea coffee shop to return to his hotel, ITV reported. The U.N. confirmed in a statement that Serry was unhurt.

Yatsenyuk: I've spoken with Russian prime minister

Interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told CNN on Wednesday that he has spoken to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and demanded that Russia pull out of Crimea and resolve the crisis diplomatically. Yatsenyuk told CNN's Matthew Chance that there are two options with Russia -- diplomacy or conflict.

Russian, Ukrainian foreign ministers do not meet

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Deshchytsia, did not meet in Paris on Wednesday, U.S. officials said. Lavrov told reporters that Wednesday was a long day of discussions on Ukraine and that Russia along with Western powers are concerned about what is happened in Ukraine.

Ukrainian minister: Talks proceed on 'other levels'

Ukrainian Economy and Trade Minister Pavlo Sheremeta told CNN's Hala Gorani on Wednesday that his government continues to "talk to our Russian counterparts" on "some other areas" not intimately related to the situation in Crimea, including economic and energy issues. There is no "[uniform] rejection of the Ukrainian government," Sheremeta said. "We are communicating, we are talking, and that's the right thing to do."

Kremlin: Putin spoke with German Chancellor

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed possible options for international cooperation in the normalization of the socio-political situation in Ukraine, the Kremlin said Wednesday. During the phone call, initiated by Germany, both leaders exchanged views on various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin.

Ban dispatches human rights official to Ukraine

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic to Kiev and the eastern part of Ukraine, including Crimea, to monitor the human rights situation, the U.N. secretary-general said in a statement Wednesday. Simonovic is expected to travel to Crimea over the weekend, according to the statement from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

NATO assessing Russia

NATO announced it has suspended the planning of its first joint mission with Russia involving the maritime escort for a U.S. vessel, part of the effort to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday. Rasmussen also said the world body has put "the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review."

U.S. officials on status of Russian forces

U.S. officials said Russian forces that ended a big military exercise on their side of the border to a large extent remain in the field Wednesday -- and are not back in their barracks in large numbers, CNN's Barbara Starr reports. For the second day in a row, the United States hasn't seen any major strategic movements by Russian forces on either side of the border -- in Russia or Crimea, officials said.

Joint Chiefs chairman: No evidence yet Crimea troops are Russian soldiers

"We don't have any evidence as yet. I think evidence could likely become available over time," U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday afternoon.

Congress urges sanctions against Russia

A U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee resolution to be voted on as early as Thursday urges the Obama administration to work with "our European allies and other countries" to "impose visa, financial, trade, and other sanctions on senior Russian officials, majority state-owned banks and commercial organizations, and other state agencies, as appropriate."

Who would suffer from Russian sanctions?

The answer is Europe, according to CNN Money. Russia is threatening to retaliate with measures of its own against any steps the United States and its European allies might take to impose sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. If that came to pass -- an outcome that remains far from certain -- Western companies and investors could end up in the firing line. Europe would stand to suffer most. Russia is the European Union's third-biggest trading partner after the United States and China, with goods and services worth more than $500 billion exchanged in 2012.

Read: Ukraine crisis: Western leaders pile pressure on Russia

Read: Up to speed: What you need to know about the Russia-Ukraine standoff

Read: Crisis in Ukraine: Complete coverage

This summary was compiled by CNN's Samira Jafari from reporting from CNN teams in Atlanta, London, Washington, Kiev, Ukraine, and Crimea.

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