Tensions Rise Between Russia And Ukraine After Terrorist Provocation
- Tensions Rise Between Russia And Ukraine After Terrorist Provocation
by Bill Van Auken, http://www.wsws.org/
The Western-backed regime in Ukraine announced Thursday that it was placing its military forces on the highest state of combat alert amid the ratcheting up of tensions with Russia in the wake of a reported terrorist provocation in Russian-ruled Crimea.
For its part, Moscow announced the staging of maneuvers in the Black Sea, with the Russian navy rehearsing tactics for the repulsion of a attack on Crimea.
The Ukrainian government, which on Thursday sent its ambassador to the United Nations to speak before the Security Council on the matter, charged that Russia has massed more than 40,000 troops in Crimea and on the Ukrainian border. As Crimea is the historic base of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, it has always had a large deployment of the country’s military.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, dismissed the charge, declaring, “Instead of counting our military, they should be bringing an end to the conflict” in eastern Ukraine, where the Kiev government’s forces have continued to attack a separatist Russian-speaking minority, claiming some 10,000 lives since April 2014.
Moscow has charged the Ukrainian government with organizing a terrorist attack aimed at striking vital infrastructure inside Crimea, a territory that Russia annexed following a plebiscite in which the peninsula’s population voted for unification with Russia. The move followed the February 2014 coup, orchestrated by Washington and Germany and spearheaded by ultra-nationalist and fascist forces, which overthrew the elected, pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych and installed a rabidly anti-Russian regime. The United States backed the putsch in a bid to escalate the US-led drive to encircle and militarily subjugate Russia.
A NATO official told the AFP news agency that the US-led military alliance was carefully following the rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, declaring that “Russia’s recent military activity in Crimea is not helpful for easing tensions.”
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau called the situation “very dangerous” and reiterated Washington’s position that “Crimea is part of Ukraine.”
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