Russia appears ready to instigate World War III. After reports of Russian forces supporting pro-Russian separatists in their battle against Ukraine emerged, Ukrainian President Petro O. Poroshenko has canceled his trip to Turkey to deal with the crisis.
President Petro had called an emergency meeting of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council. There is an additional reason for the urgency of the situation. The Ukraine leader is confident that Russian forces are snaking their way into eastern Ukraine. He claims to have NATO satellite imagery showing Russian forces on the move in the said region. Apparently, Petro had accused Russia Thursday of an invasion to aid the separatists. Moreover, his national security council ordered mandatory conscription to help counter what Petro called an “extremely difficult” threat.
The allegations by the president have come just two days after he had met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in attempts to find an amicable way to end the nearly six-month-old crisis churning in Ukraine.
The Russian President had apparently assured Petro that any Russian soldiers in Ukraine were volunteers who had sacrificed their rarely-sanctioned vacations to help the heavily pro-Russian east Ukraine, suffering oppression from the Kiev central government.
Dismissing the claims, President Petro said,
“Columns of heavy artillery, huge loads of arms and regular Russian servicemen came to the territory of Ukraine from Russia through the uncontrolled border area. Mercenaries, along with regular servicemen, are trying to overrun positions held by the Ukrainian military. The situation is certainly extremely difficult, and nobody is going to simplify it.”
The times are indeed quite difficult. In fact, Russia itself agreed that its troops have an active presence in the region, but still stand by their word that these soldiers are only there to offer humanitarian aide or might have simply “wandered off”. Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been quite high for some time now and an all-out war or at least direct combat between the countries cannot be ruled out, reported NY Times.
Hence the council announced it had re-imposed mandatory military service that was suspended last year.
Brig. Gen. Nico Tak of the Netherlands, a senior officer in NATO’s military command narrates a first-hand account of the rising presence of Russian military-men within Ukraine’s borders,
“Over the past two weeks we have noted a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine. “
He even went ahead and said that the Russian soldiers were backing the separatists and “fighting with them.” As per NATO’s records, more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have joined the separatists battling the Ukrainian military, reported The Economist. The organization even estimated that about 20,000 Russian troops were deployed on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border. Is an all-out war imminent?
[Image Credit | Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images]