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Ukraine Accuses Russia of Invading

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The government in Kiev has accused Russia of invading its territory as tensions escalate in East Ukraine in the wake of the ceasefire collapsing. The ceasefire substantively ended yesterday after an artillery assault in Donetsk led to the death of two teenagers at their high school with both sides pointing fingers at each other though reports appear to indicate it was likely to have been Kiev’s forces firing on a nearby separatist forces.

Today Kiev says that dozens of tanks and other vehicles and weapons have crossed the Russia-Ukraine border. A spokesman for the government gave very precise figures which appear to have come from outside Ukraine’s capability given the border is not under their control. If the figures given are true they may have come from NATO or US intelligence.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said at least 32 tanks, 16 artillery systems and 30 trucks loaded with fighters and ammunition had crossed into eastern Ukraine from Russia. He said three mobile radar units loaded on trucks also came over the border from Russia. Lysenko provided no specific evidence and it wasn’t immediately clear how his agency had obtained the information, since parts of Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia have been under rebel control since August.

Ukraine and the West have continuously accused Moscow of fueling a pro-Russian rebellion in eastern Ukraine with troops and weapons. Russia denies those accusations. Russia’s Defense Ministry had no immediate comment on Lysenko’s statement, but earlier Friday it rejected Western allegations that Moscow was deploying more troops near the border.

So lots of fingering point, recriminations, and denials – sounds like peace may not quite be in reach. Assuming Russia has sent in that equipment it would likely mean there will be a considerable counter-offensive which could fully drive Kiev’s forces out of the Donbass region leaving it to be run by the separatists.

Given that Russia has already recognized the elections of separatists leaders, Russian President Putin may have decided that he won’t let Kiev take back the territory under any circumstances. Though some have argued that Donbass could just be the beginning and the ultimate goal is to reach Odessa which would create a land bridge for Russia to reach Crimea.

What happens next is anyone’s guess. NATO has been satisfied so far to stoke tensions and provide weapons to Ukraine but not actually sign any agreement binding them to Kiev’s fate. Russia, on the other hand, seems to have doubled down on earlier commitments not to let the West swallow Ukraine whole, if at all.  The only thing for certain is that there will be a lot more suffering in Ukraine in the days to come.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.