Russia’s FSB security service announced Wednesday that it had foiled a series of attacks by armed Ukranians in Crimea, and minutes later President Vladimir Putin accused Kiev of choosing the path of terror instead of peace. On the same day, far from the eyes of the media, Russia sent large military forces, including dozens of armored vehicles, armored personnel carriers and tanks, to the peninsula that it took over in 2014.
No specific incident sparked the current crisis although there have been regular exchanges of fire between the Ukranian army and pro-Russian rebels in Donesk in eastern Ukraine. Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt has expessed concern that Putin plans to invade Crimea again, saying that Putin has a pattern of launching military operations when the world’s attention is focused on other matters, mainly during major sporting events. With the Olympics underway and the US presidential election campaign heating up, it seems that another invasion may only be days away.
Full article: Russia builds up forces in Crimea with int’l attention focused elsewhere (DEBKAfile)