Multiple news outlets report that 1,000 Russian troops (in the form of “two columns of tanks and military vehicles”) have poured into southeastern Ukraine in what can be best be described as an invasion. According to the Boston Globe, this invasion comes only hours after Russia fired Grad missiles at a Ukrainian border post, forcing the “over-matched border guards” to flee. Furthermore, an aerial photo tweeted by NATO further adds credence to the notion that Russia has effectively invaded Ukraine:
— NATO (@NATO) August 28, 2014
Some might argue that such a relatively small convoy of troops does not represent an invasion, but the Lithuanian ambassador to the U.N., Ramonda Murkokaite, disagrees on the premise that “an invasion is an invasion is an invasion.” Indeed!
Note also that according to Brig. Gen. Nico Tak, the columns reportedly contain a large quantity of “advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers.” He also says that the troops seen in NATO’s aerial photo represent just “‘the tip of the iceberg’ in terms of the overall scope of Russian troop and weapons movements.”
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has also confirmed that Russia invaded his nation. In fact, according to News24.com, the president immediately cancelled a foreign trip and called “an emergency meeting of his security council.” ABC News reports that the U.N. Security Council has followed suite and set up its own “emergency session on the growing crisis in Ukraine.”
The crazy thing is that the leader of the pro-Russian separatists, Alexander Zakharchenko, claims that anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 soldiers from Russia have already fought alongside his forces since the conflict between Ukraine and Russia began way back in April.
All this has inspired Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s prime minister, to ask the nation’s allies (the United States, the European Union and the G-7 countries) “to freeze Russian assets until Moscow” halts this unprecedented invasion, reports the LA Times.
Thus far, Ukraine’s allies have done nothing more than apply fairly benevolent sanctions against certain individuals and businesses both in Russia and in Ukraine. And judging by a new report by the Wall Street Journal, it appears that the European Union (if not also other allies) plans to fight back against Russia’s invasion by simply “stepping up economic sanctions.”
Whether or not these sanctions will work to deter Russia’s desire to fully invade and takeover Ukraine remains to be seen.
Image via [Google Images]