Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Ukraine is “playing a dangerous game” following a reported incursion by Ukrainian special forces into Crimea that left two Russian personnel dead.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced it had thwarted two attempts by Ukrainian special forces to infiltrate Crimea and target critical infrastructure with explosive devices. Ammunition used by the Ukrainian Army’s special forces was reportedly discovered along the Crimea/Ukraine border, and clashes killed one Russian soldier and one FSB employee.
The FSB reported the attempts by Ukrainian forces to cross the border “were accompanied by massive covering fire from the neighboring state and from Ukrainian armored vehicles.”
After a meeting in Moscow with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Putin warned that Russia “will not walk past something like this,” following the death of two Russian soldiers in a cross border raid by Ukrainian special forces in Crimea, and called the Ukrainian government’s actions “stupid and criminal.”
“I think it’s obvious that Kiev’s current authorities are not seeking for ways to solve problems through negotiations but have turned to terrorism,” Putin added, warning Ukraine was “playing a dangerous game.”
Online activists recently published videos on social media of Russian trains carrying army vehicles to the Kerch Strait, which lies directly between Crimea and southern Russia.
Western media was quick to suggest Putin was preparing to use the cross border attack as justification for an all out invasion of Ukraine.
“At this point there seem to be three possible scenarios. One is that Putin will try to leverage this latest crisis to persuade EU countries to drop the sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict. Another is that he is preparing a limited military incursion, possibly to set up a security corridor…A third is that he is planning something bigger,” Luke Harding wrote in the Guardian.
Harding went so far as to suggest Putin may be retaliating over the doping scandal surrounding Russia’s Olympic athletes.
“The Wada report on Russian state-sponsored doping has been presented inside Russia as a western conspiracy. Putin may be showing who is boss,” he wrote.
Those same Western media outlets fail to acknowledge it was the United States and NATO who funded the overthrow of Ukraine’s Russian-backed government in 2014, putting in place a far-right government, which included Neo-Nazi parties, with the stated goal of advancing NATO to the Russian border.