Ukraine's military has been on alert over the past weeks as Russia began to annex a portion of its land and widespread protests led to the ouster of its previous leader. For support, Ukraine has been running a fundraiser to bring in money for the military, and it's been attempting to do so over the phone: by texting or calling a number, Ukrainians have been able to automatically donate 5 UAH (about 49 cents USD) to the country's army. Its defense agency has been advertising the phone number on its website and Facebook, and so far, Ukraine reports that it's brought in over $375,000.
Ukraine's military will withdraw from Crimea
For now, it appears that military conflict with Russia has been avoided though. The New York Times reports that Ukraine is effectively choosing to concede the loss of Crimea — a peninsula to its south that's about the size of New Jersey — after it voted to secede and join Russia over the weekend. Ukraine has a number of military bases throughout the region, and it reportedly plans to relocate all military personnel and their families — up to 25,000 in total — back to mainland Ukraine.
Ukraine's military forces have effectively been trapped in Crimea since Russia began occupying the region two weeks ago. Though Western leaders and Ukraine itself have condemned Crimea's vote of secession as illegal, Russia has recognized it and is moving to annex the area. With Russia refusing to back down and all parties attempting to avoid a military conflict, it seems that Ukraine may finally be making the inevitable move. It isn't officially acknowledging loss of Crimea yet, though it seems to have a smaller hope to retain the region with its forces on their way out.