Ukrainian troops on Crimean border on high alert after rising tension with Russia

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ukrainian troops on the Crimean border were put on full combat alert on Thursday, said Ukrainian officials, after tensions rose between Russia and Ukraine over the preceding several days.

Location of Crimea and Ukraine in Europe.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed on Wednesday to have captured over the preceding weekend a group of Ukrainian saboteurs with 20 explosive devices; amid Russian accusations of Ukrainian military actions in Crimea, an area Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014. A video on Russian state television allegedly showed one Yevyen Panov confessing to be part of the Ukrainian military, in Crimea to commit "acts of sabotage". The FSB claimed in foiling the plot a Russian soldier and a secret service agent died. Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, put his own troops on high alert, suggesting the accusations were just preparing an excuse for further military actions against Ukraine.

Sergey Aksyonov, appointed head of Crimea by Russia, stated to Russian state media: "With saboteurs I think we should act as farmers do with crows who spoil the crops. Kill them and hang their bodies at the border to put off others, and make them understand that Russia will not allow anyone to risk the lives of peaceful citizens or servicemen in Crimea", while Poroshenko compared Russia's actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine to the Great Terror in which Stalin sent perhaps a million political dissidents to their deaths.