Reports from a resident in the south-eastern Ukraine town of Novoazovsk, a column of Russian military armored vehicles moving towards the city and open fire. At approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday, these tanks seemed to appear out of nowhere and began to fire on the Ukrainian town. Kiev officials reported that the column of tanks were Russian and that they were allegedly fighting along with pro-Russian separatists in the area. Russia quickly responded, denouncing the reports.
Over the five month conflict between Russia and Ukraine, to the frustration of the Western governments, reports like this are all too common. One side will report that the other side is doing one thing, which the other side then quickly disputes. The world is relying on the less than trustworthy reports coming from the Russian and Ukraine officials, having to then decipher which side is indeed reporting the truth or reporting cover-ups. The area has become too dangerous for reporters in the area, with many, including Russian and Ukrainian reporters, becoming a target for kidnapping.
Officials in Kiev stated that the Russian armored military vehicles that had appeared out of nowhere. The appearance of these Russian tans Monday was a great distance from areas of Ukraine that are being held or fought for by the pro-Russian separatists, that question on how they could have made it so far into the country unnoticed. One theory is that the Russian convoy of armored vehicles entered Ukraine through the Azov Sea. This idea seems unlikely with the amount of heavy vehicles included in the convoy.
According to Ukrainian National Security Council spokesman Colonel Andriy Lysenko, the convoy consisted of a pair of trucks and a pair of armored vehicles and 10 Russian tanks. The vehicles were said to be displaying the flags of the Donetsk rebels. Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Council, told reporters that the column of 10 tanks, two armored vehicles and two trucks crossed the border near Shcherbak and that the nearby city of Novoazovsk was shelled during the night from Russia.
Following the news about the armored vehicles entering Ukraine, on Tuesday, Kiev reported that 10 Russian paratroopers had been captured. The paratroopers allegedly believed that they were on a military training mission and still were on the Russian side of the border, not realizing that they had crossed the border into Ukraine until seeing a village with Ukrainian tanks. The paratroopers are allegedly part of Russia’s 98th Svirsk airborne division.
Due to the continuing conflict, a number of Western nations that have been major exporters to Russia have sent warnings to Moscow. Russia has already seen sanctions from the United States and the European Union imposed based on allegations Moscow is arming the pro-Russian separatists and the ongoing conflict in the region. Western nations have also warned Russia that more sanctions were forthcoming if they continue to provide help to the rebels and ignore the borders of Ukraine.
The sanctions have already appeared to affect the Russian people. Since the end of the Cold War, the influx of Western goods into Russia had become a staple. Now with sanctions in place over the military posturing at, and around the Ukrainian border, the Russian people are looking at a possible recession.
By Carl Auer