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Ukraine’s Civil War Has “Irreversible Consequences”

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 12:17
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After months of supplying pro-Russian militants waging civil war in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, Moscow is now warning Kiev of the “irreversible consequences” of a single shell that was allegedly fired from within Ukraine and landed on Russian territory.

According to Moscow, one Russian was killed in the incident. Ukrainian analysts believe that, following the accidental shelling, the Russian military is directly responsible for shooting down a Ukrainian transport aircraft which was flying at an elevation of over 21,000 feet — a distance far outside the range of weapons in the possession of pro-Russian militants. And Reuters reports that Ukrainian officials are claiming that Russian officers may be overtly fighting side by side with anti-Kiev forces:

Accusing Russia of embarking on a course of escalation in Ukraine’s eastern regions, National and Security Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists: “In the past 24 hours, deployment of [Russian] units and military equipment across the border from the Sumy and Luhansk border points was noticed. The Russian Federation continues to build up troops on the border.”


NATO said Russia had increased its forces along the border and now has 10,000-12,000 troops in the area.

Moscow’s seemingly disproportionate response to the single shell that landed on Russian soil may mark a movement on the part of Vladimir Putin to establish a casus belli. For perspective, at least 110 Ukrainians were killed between January 22 and February 20 of this year during the Euromaidan protests in Kiev that ultimately caused the pro-Moscow kleptocratic president, Viktor Yanukovych, to flee to Russia. (The Ukrainian parliament then followed the constitutional procedure for selection of a new president.) A March 30 article for the online site The Daily Beast offered seemingly irrefutable proof that the Russian-trained “Alfa Team” of the Ukraine’s state security service — under Yanukovych’s control — systematically murdered protesters, killing 53 individuals on February 20 alone.

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