Russia’s Chest-Beating Has Ukraine Fearing ‘Full Scale Russian Invasion’

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is afraid of a “full-scale Russian invasion” in the face of a massive troop mobilization on the Ukrainian-Russian quasi-border.

Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine is at the highest levels in nearly a year. Russia responded to the fighting by positioning nearly 40,000 troops along the quasi Crimean-Ukrainian border, along with armored personnel carriers.

“The probability of escalation and conflict remains very significant,” Poroshenko told reporters Thursday.

The move comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine August 10 of sponsoring two separate terrorist attacks in Russian-occupied Crimea. Ukraine denies any such incidents took place, and note the accusations mirror past false charges used to justify military action.

Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and is under international sanction by the U.S. and EU. Putin traveled to Crimea Friday to reportedly “mull anti-terror measures.”

Putin views Ukraine as a client state of the U.S. and the NATO alliance.

Russia’s Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu told Russian State media in June, “The political situation along the western border of the country remains unstable.” Shoigu referred to NATO’s decision to deploy four additional battalions to the Baltic states to protect from Russian aggression.

Russia insists its military build up on the Ukrainian border is simply a routine military exercise. U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal they believe Russia may be trying to bait the Ukrainian government into a military confrontation. If Ukraine initiated a military confrontation, it would counter the Western narrative of Russian aggression and justify another Russian military incursion into Ukraine.

The ongoing war in Ukraine is in violation of the Minsk 2 agreement, which Russia is bound by. Russia originally invaded Ukraine by dispatching troops in 2014 in un-flagged uniforms. These troops have come to be known as “little green men” and are portrayed by the Russian government as “volunteers.”

An independent Skynews Investigation revealed August 11, Russia is hiring hundreds of private military contractors to fight on the ground in Syria, catching the government in a lie that it only assists Syria from the air. The investigation also revealed Russia is doing the same thing inside Ukraine.

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