CRISIS HEATS UP: Russia sends troops over border into Ukraine
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/28/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Armored Russian troops have been sent across the border into eastern Ukraine, in the boldest move yet by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The recent move is seen by analysts as Russia's attempt to preserve the pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine. The latest incursion was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week.
The latest development has further hindered any attempt to resolve the five-month-old conflict diplomatically.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Russian incursion has blunted the gathering speed with which Ukrainian forces had previously repelled Russian forces.
Russia has long denied aiding the pro-Russian insurgents and didn't acknowledge the military movements. Russia, however said that they would not let the insurgency fall. In either case, the latest movement has created a significant domestic political setback for President Putin in his increasingly fractious relationship with the United States and its European allies.
"Russia is clearly trying to put its finger on the scale to tip things back in favor of its proxies," a senior American official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing intelligence reports said. "Artillery barrages and other Russian military actions have taken their toll on the Ukrainian military."
The latest development has further hindered any attempt to resolve the five-month-old conflict diplomatically. The presidents of both Russia and the Ukraine presidents had earlier met in Belarus, and had both professed a desire for a peaceful solution. Russia's behavior also raised the possibility of punitive new Western economic sanctions as a reprisal.
According to Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military in Kiev, the Russian armored column entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, south of Donetsk, expanding what Western and Ukrainian officials have described as one of the main fronts in a multipronged counteroffensive directed by Russia.
Ukraine had accused Russia earlier this week of sending an armored column toward the coastal city of Mariupol, far from the fighting around Luhansk and Donetsk, with the aim of diverting Ukrainian forces to deal with that new threat.
The Obama administration accused Russia of lying about its intentions, while European officials angrily demanded answers from the Kremlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has perhaps has the most cordial relationship with Putin, telephoned him on Wednesday to request an explanation, her office said.
Evidence that Russia was seeking to change the course of the conflict was abundant earlier this week. In the small southeast border town of Novoazovsk, Ukrainian forces beat a nervous retreat under attack from what fleeing soldiers described as columns of tanks, artillery and combat troops coming across the border.
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