On Wednesday, the Russian Federal Security Service (the KGB’s grandson) announced that over the weekend it put a stop to several “terrorist attacks” on the Crimean peninsula.
On Saturday, according to the FSB, a security service agent died in a shooting with “saboteurs”, near Armyansk, a town occupied by Russia and close to the frontier with Ukraine.
The agency also denounced that several people, both Ukrainian and Russian were arrested, including Yevgeny Panov, an apparent agent of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GUR), who is said to be “confessing” his crimes.
Also, several weapons and explosives were confiscated. The FSB claimed the devices belonged to the Ukrainian Special Forces units.
Then, on Sunday, members of the Ukrainian Special Forces apparently tried to cross the frontier, fleeing an attack from Ukrainian troops, according to the FSB, another Russian soldier was murdered.
The Crimean parliament has released a statement claiming Ukraine started an “undeclared war.” The information still has not been verified by independent sources.
There have been many rumors in the past few days regarding Russian military men patrolling north Crimea.
A Russian news site, Rosbalt, was contacted by an unidentified “source” to clarify that there was indeed a shooting on Sunday, but it was not a “terrorist” attack, but rather a clash between the military.
However, the Ukrainian government denies all the information, including any incursions into the Crimean peninsula. Still, there are reports of Putin being “outraged”.
“Kiev is not searching for paths to negotiations, but is moving to terror. From the Russian side, during the course of preventing terrorist attacks in Crimea, two soldiers died, we cannot pass this by,” said Putin.
This may finish the tense détente the war in Ukraine has had for most of the present year.
Donbas (in Russian, Donbass) is another Ukrainian region, located in the eastern part of the country. In 2014, another war started in this place, thanks to another military incursion from Russia.
According to reports, the invasion has been more violent that in Crimea, and this year the tensions have escalated.
The Ukrainian administration has denounced that the past month forty-two soldiers were killed, and almost two hundred were injured.
In the city of Shyrokyne, a particularly bloody clash occurred on Monday, with more than two hundred artillery and mortar rounds being shot, according to a Ukrainian report.
The attacks, which are also echoing in Mariupol, Donetsk, Avdiivka, Krasnohorivka, Luhansk and Maryinka, are also killing Russian and Ukrainian civilians, at a rate of one wounded daily.
“We do not anticipate war or attack by the Russian Federation on Ukraine in the near future. Putin has realized that continuing a military occupation of Ukraine does not bring the anticipated results for him. Putin’s strategy relies on bargaining with Ukraine over the return of Donbas provided that we abandon all attempts to ever regain Crimea,” said Sunday Anton Gerashchenko to Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
However, the military spokesman for Ukraine’s Presidential Administration, Andriy Lysenko, said that the Armed Forces were expecting an attack.
Sweden’s former prime minister, Carl Bildt, and many others have stated Putin may try to invade another region soon.
Reports have come out claiming that Russian authorities are not allowing the Ukraine’s Cultural Centre, located in Moscow, to function.
The Centre was created as an alliance between the two governments, back in 1998 and had been functioning interruptedly until now.
Apparently, representatives of the Russian government are refusing to register the new director of the Centre, Volodymyr Ionov, claiming the law “has changed.”
Taras Dudko, head of the company denounced that the Ukranian citizens living in Russia are worried about the sabotages.
In the past few years, Russian authorities have destroyed Ukranian cultural centers. Since October 2015, the Library of Ukrainian Literature, also in Moscow, is periodically raided by the FSB.
The Federal Ukrainian National Cultural Autonomy of Russia’s Ukrainians and the Union of Russia’s Ukrainians have also be shut down by government representatives.
The Guardian has released a deep analysis of what may be Putin’s plan. So far, Russia previous invasions have been when the world is focused on Olympic Games.
After Beijing 2008 Russia seized Georgia, and after the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, the invasion of Ukraine occurred.
This year, the world may be even more distracted than usual. The United States controversial elections have the country paralyzed, and Europe is worried about the consequences of the Brexit and the refugee crisis.
The Guardian then proceeds to map out three options. Firstly, Putin could be planning another serious invasion. Secondly, he could try to set up a “security corridor”, to help with Crimea’s isolation. And thirdly, he could try to convince the European Union to drop Russia’s current sanctions.
Sources: The Daily Beast