Thursday, 17 April 2014

Moscow taking greater risks in Ukraine

Witnesses on April 16 said that the personnel of six Ukrainian armored transport vehicles deployed to the eastern city of Kramatorsk have switched sides to join pro-federalist activists, RIA Novosti reported…A witness said one vehicle carried a Russian flag and joined protesters headed to Slovyansk…Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoli Antonov on April 16 told Rossiya 24 Television that there is no Russian military threat directed against Ukraine...Antonov ridiculed reports about Russian troops reaching Europe and downplayed reports about the number of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders…However, Ukrainian troops did identify troops who landed from Russia in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk, Focus News Agency reported April 16, citing UNIAN...According to Kiev, there is no doubt that Russian elite armed forces are stationed in eastern Ukraine…Russian separatists continue to frustrate Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, but its military has also reportedly harassed US military assets stationed in the region as well…A Russian fighter/interceptor came within 500 meters of the USS Donald Cook, a guided missile destroyer underway in the Black Sea, before departing after 90 minutes…Russian-backed movements in eastern Ukraine and in the air over the Black Sea suggest it is willing to take more dangerous risks to maintain control over the region…Reports of Russian troops in Ukraine could indicate the presence of GRU (foreign intelligence service) assets and could be a pretext for more provocative actions.

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