Tensions are rapidly rising over the Azov Sea and the downing of MH17.
According to a new report, recent developments—none of them good—in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia are pointing toward the possibility of a new military confrontation that could inevitably drag NATO, and the U.S., into World War III.
The online journal of the Strategic Culture Foundation notes that Ukraine has increased its presence in the Azov Sea region, which includes:
• the creation of a missile-equipped naval infantry group to counter potential amphibious attacks and naval shore bombardments; and
• the deployment of Gurza-M class armored artillery boats in the Azov Sea.
According to the Ukrainian Ground Forces commander, Gen. Serhiy Popko, Russia is the aggressor in the situation (translated from Ukrainian):
“In return to the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation in the Sea of Azov, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided to reinforce the group of the Armed Forces, including the Ground Forces, in the Azov region
“We provide permanent presence and control of the area with the units of army brigades and territorial defense units, the missile troops and artillery, and the army aviation.”
Under a 2003 agreement between Russia and Ukraine, the Azov Sea and the adjoining Strait of Kerch are considered international waters for both countries, although no formal boundary for the two countries was established. As a result, either side could put a vessel mere feet from shore without violating the sovereign territory of the other.
Earlier today, the Russian Defense Ministry revealed the videos purportedly showing the movement of a Buk missile system from Russia to Ukraine prior to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was staged in order to blame Russia. Additionally, it released an audio recording in which Ukrainian military personnel are discussing downing a Malaysian Airlines flight in the future, as well as a detailed history of the missile that downed the aircraft.
According to that history, the missile was assembled in December of 1986 and delivered to a Ukrainian Soviet Army unit that was never withdrawn to Russia. The missile never left Ukraine, meaning it was ostensibly in the Ukrainian government’s possession when it was fired in the July 2014 incident over eastern Donetsk.
The latest development, however, was Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s announcement that has signed a decree ending the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between his country and Russia. The 21-year-old treaty has been deemed an “anachronism,” according to Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin.
Full article: Report: Russia, Ukraine on Brink of War (TruNews)