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Ukraine Declares Martial Law After Russia Confrontation

 In Foreign, Military

Over the weekend, Russia fired on three Ukraine ships in the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov. Then they seized control of them. Ukraine President, Petro Poroshenko, declared Martial Law, and NATO is holding emergency meetings. Russia has reportedly been ignoring international calls to release the ships and crew.

The bridge over the Kerch Strait has directly affected the economy of the Ukraine. The bridge is not  a “draw bridge” – it’s made to be too low for sea traffic. And Russia has blocked passage under the bridge with a tanker ship.

Screenshot via the Guardian

Stripes reported,

“The attack on the Ukrainian cutters is a Russian-planned element of escalation of the months-long situation in the Sea of Azov,” Poroshenko said. “I’m also sure it is far from the culmination. Intelligence reports discuss a serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine.”

Ukraine said that a Russian ship rammed a Ukrainian tugboat on Sunday; afterward, Russian crews fired on the tugboat and two navy vessels, injuring six sailors, before seizing the ships.

Russia’s Federal Security Service said the Ukrainian ships made an unauthorized passage through Russian territorial waters and accused their commanders of failing to give proper transit notification, which Ukraine denied. Russian media said that only three Ukrainian sailors were slightly hurt.

The Russian Foreign Ministry accused Ukraine Monday of orchestrating a provocation as “a pretext for setting up sanctions against Russia,” according to a statement.

The Russian ship deliberately rammed this tug boat, then fired on it.

Poroshenko said that the new declaration of martial law was for military readiness, not for censorship or harming the citizens in any way. (Whatever happened to just putting the military on alert?) It is set to begin on Wednesday and go for a 30 day period.

“The martial law declaration adds further instability to the situation, especially since the Ukrainian parliament will most likely approve it, if with some reservations about its potential effect on domestic politics. Russia could use it to justify stronger military action, arguing that Kiev is moving to a war status.” Alx Brideau, Eurasia Group

What does that have to do with the United States?

We have military servicemen deployed in Europe for the EDI- European Deterrence Initiative. They are in several points in the Balkans- if you look at the map you can see the proximity to Crimea and Ukraine-  in order to reassure our NATO partners. Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland, to name a few.

The US Army has been working to upgrade the military base and air base at Mihail Kogalniceanu in Romania. Business Insider reported,

“The new US defence budget also provides $12.9 million for the anti-missile shield systems, including the one in Deveselu in southern Romania, the only one which is currently operational in Eastern Europe. The document published on the US Senate website does not refer directly to Deveselu, but insists on the development of the missile shield system in Alaska.

However on May 8, Inside Defense reported that the Missile Defence Agency has plans to give the land-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence system the means to intercept cruise missiles and aircraft, which would mean new investments in Romania.”

Russia has been snarling at the US for some time since the revelation of that missile defense system.

Make no mistake, Russia knew exactly what they were doing.  They’ve been working nonstop on an aggressive stance in all of their areas of influence. And no, liberals, it has nothing whatsoever to do with Trump.

 

Feature photo: screenshot via The Guardian

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