Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Putin Poised for assault on Ukraine

Navy Day celebrations in Sevastopol, Crimea, on July 31.
Russian President Vladimir Putin may be preparing a new offensive in Ukraine. Following Russian claims of thwarted terrorist attacks in Crimea that the United States cannot confirm, Putin is vowing revenge. “We obviously will not let such things slide by,” he warned.

Russia is amassing troops on the border of Crimea under the guise of war games, the Kavkaz exercises. Russia used war games in 2008 to amass troops on the border with Georgia before fighting broke out there. Russia is amassing armored personnel carriers, military ambulances, fuel tankers, trucks, signals and engineering vehicles. In Sevastopol, a Nanuchka-class missile corvette is at anchor. In Dzhankoy, the troop level has been doubled.

July was the deadliest month in a year for the Ukrainian army, with at least 42 soldiers killed and 181 wounded.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has reached a stalemate, even though fighting in the area has increased.
Donetsk Peoples Republic (DPR) leader Alexander Zakharchenko
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the multinational group charged with monitoring the Ukraine cease-fire, reports that cease-fire violations recently increased from dozens to hundreds daily.

The OSCE also has reported that its monitors are more frequently being harassed by combined Russian-separatist forces and denied access to key battlefield locations.