Europe: Ukraine puts troops on high alert as tension grows with Russia

The row among Ukraine and Russia is higher than expected. On Thursday, Kiev puts troops on high alert in Crimea and Eastern provinces.

It follows accusations by Moscow on Wednesday that Kiev was carrying out armed incursions into Crimea.

Ukraine’s envoy to the UN asked Russia to provide evidence of the claims, and said some 40,000 Russian troops were massed on the Crimea-Ukraine border.

His Russian counterpart told the UN Security Council of Moscow’s “concern and outrage” at the alleged incursions.

Conclusion: This is the biggest headache nowadays.


Europe: Russia accuses Ukraine of attempted Crimea ‘incursions’

Russia and Ukraine has taken part in another diplomatic row. Moscow accuses Ukraine of attempted military incursions to sabotage Russian annexed Crimea peninsula.

The FSB intelligence agency said two attempted incursions had taken place over the weekend and a Russian soldier and an FSB employee had been killed.

President Vladimir Putin vowed “further security measures” in response to Ukraine’s “stupid and criminal” acts.

Ukraine’s president described the accusations as “preposterous”.

“Russian accusations against Ukraine of terrorism in occupied Crimea sound as preposterous and cynical as the statements of the Russian leadership about the absence of Russian troops in the Donbass [region of rebel-held eastern Ukraine],” Petro Poroshenko said.

“These fantasies are only a pretext for making more military threats against Ukraine,” he added.

Conclusion: More troubles on eastern side of Europe.

Europe: Crimea hit by power blackout and Ukraine trade boycott

The ties among Crimea and Ukraine has worst off. On Monday, Ukraine has cut off its energy supplies to annexed Russian peninsula.

Only essential services and government offices are operating in Crimea after key electricity pylons connected to the peninsula were knocked down in Ukraine.

Protesters – including Crimean Tatars – are preventing repairs to the pylons.

The Ukrainian government says new rules for cargo traffic need to be worked out for Crimea, which was annexed by Russian forces in March 2014.

A Tatar leader, Mustafa Dzhemilev, said the protesters would only let engineers repair two pylons that serve areas of mainland Ukraine – not the two linked to the peninsula, which is controlled by a pro-Moscow government.

Conclusion: Among Ukrainians and Russians, no deal yet

Ukraine: Rebels postponed local elections

Ukraine still on political turmoil. On Tuesday, Pro-Russia rebels in eastern Ukraine say they have agreed to postpone until February disputed elections that had been planned for the next few weeks.

The move was announced by two senior separatist representatives of the self-proclaimed republics in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Kiev says any polls held not according to Ukrainian law would be “fake”.

Conclusion: Pro-Russia rebels is in doubt over democracy on Eastern Ukraine.

Russia: Ukraine director Sentsov jails over terror charges

Russia has crackdown any foreigner on tis soil. On Tuesday, Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov has condemned to 20 years in jail for ploting terrorism. He was arrested in Russian territory of Crimea in May 2014. Many directors like Pedro Almodovar and Ken Loach has signed a petition to release him. Ukraine’s president  Petro Poroshenko wrote on Facebook: “Hang on in there, Oleg. Time will pass, and those who organised this kangaroo court will find themselves in the dock.” Conclusion: Putin becames Russia a great prison for everyone who criticises him.

Russia: Ukraine pilot Savchenko appears in Russian court

The row between Russia and Ukraine has another chapter today. Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko appears on Russian court. She faces charges of killing two Russian journalists and crossed the border illegally. Her defence lawyers has pledge the trial should be move from Rostov region to Moscow. Conclusion: More troubles among Russians and Ukrainians.