The crisis in Ukraine continues as the nation is invaded by Russian military convoys crossing the border into Eastern Ukraine. This means that the cease-fire agreement reached months ago in Minsk has effectively failed and been rendered irrelevant, and hostilities have now resumed in the region.
The Ukrainian government has long accused Russia of sending weapons and troops into its borders during this conflict that has claimed more than 4,000 casualties to date, but Russia has perennially denied any involvement. These latest military actions, however, are being taken as proof positive that Russia is, in fact, intervening. Russia has acknowledged that what it considers volunteers to the cause have crossed the border, but it has continually rejected claims of being involved on any official capacity itself.
A senior NATO official, General Philip Breedlove, the supreme allied commander in Europe for NATO, confirmed what numerous agencies and experts have believed for a long time–that Russia has indeed intervened militarily in Ukraine. There are greater numbers of Russian militants training in Eastern Ukraine and using heavy artillery, even though Russia itself still continues to strongly deny any military involvement in the crisis. What Russia’s intentions are remain a relative mystery to Western powers. One thing, however, is clear to them–Ukraine has been invaded by Russians, as military convoys poured into Ukraine from the Russian border earlier this week and headed towards Donetsk. Russian troops also invaded Ukraine’s Donbas region, which is held by rebels.
In New York, the United Nations held an emergency meeting on the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. It has held emergency meetings on the situation more than two dozen times already. Assistant Secretary-General Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen expressed deep concern about the continuing crisis, which has no clear or encouraging sign that it may end in the near future.
Western leaders are not remaining quiet on this point, however. The recent military incursions by Russian forces has become one of the unintentional focal points anticipated at the G-20 summit in Australia this weekend, which Russian President Vladimir Putin will be attending. British Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the attacks. He said that the likely outcome would be further sanctions placed on it by western powers, even after White House officials acknowledged that the already existing sanctions had failed to prevent Russian military involvement to this point.
While Putin has acknowledged that the sanctions already placed on his country have hurt, he went on to say that the sanctions also weakened the global economy as a whole. However, he suggested that he would not bring the topic up during the G-20 summit because, according to him, it did not make sense to do so.
Ukraine has been invaded by Russia, but that was not the only action by the Russian military that proved controversial. A convoy of Russian Navy ships also traveled north of Brisbane, Australia, although it remained in international waters. Western leaders were not so much concerned by the presence of those ships so close to Australia as they were the military actions inside of Ukraine. German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested that the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been compromised, and that the agreement reached in Minsk earlier this year has been broken.
By Charles Bordeau