image002Tensions smoldered in Ukraine, and in capitals around the world on Monday, as Russian troops consolidated their hold on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, global stocks slipped on fears things could get worse and diplomats grasped for a way to stop the crisis from escalating. At an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the unfolding crisis, diplomats asked Russia to withdraw its troops and called for mediation to end the crisis. Russia’s envoy said his country’s aim in Ukraine is to stop radical extremists who are destabilizing the country — adding that ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had asked Russia to send troops. The United States’ ambassador accused Russia of breaking international law and responding to an “imaginary threat.” Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin read a letter from Yanukovych at the meeting, describing Ukraine as a country “on the brink of civil war,” plagued by “chaos and anarchy.” MORE