US says Russia preparing for ‘occupation’ of Crimea

WASHINGTON—With more than 6,000 airborne and naval forces, Russia has taken control of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine and appears to be preparing to occupy the territory, a senior Obama administration official said Sunday.

“Russian forces now have complete operational control of the Crimean peninsula, some 6,000-plus airborne and naval forces, with considerable materiel,” the official said in a briefing for reporters. “There is no question that they are in an occupation position in Crimea, that they are flying in reinforcements, and they are settling in.”

The U.S. has condemned the deployments and officials said the Russians will play a political and economic cost for its military intervention in Ukraine.

Officials also said Sunday that Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Kiev Tuesday in a show of support for the new Ukrainian government.