Russia is accusing the Ukraine of attempting to get groups of armed saboteurs into the Russian occupied Crimean Peninsula. According to the Russian secret services, the FSB, their goals were to damage critical infrastructure and create chaos ahead of Russia’s parliamentary elections next month.
According to the FSB, the Ukrainians made two night time attempts to cross the border, one on Saturday-Sunday and another two attempts on Sunday-Monday. These attempts were allegedly covered by fire from Ukrainian armoured vehicles and resulted in the death of a Russian solder.
Russia has allegedly arrested those responsible, dismantled a Ukrainian spy network within Crimea and seized an arms cache that included explosives and specialized weaponry. Though an FSB agent reportedly died while detaining individuals.
Putin himself accused the Ukrainian government in Kiev of using terrorist tactics and called these actions criminal.
Kiev, however, responded by saying that they had no involvement in the incident and that it was simply and excuse created by Russia to accelerate the conflict. A Ukrainian spokesperson accused Putin of war mongering and another has said that the FSB information was faked.
This most recent conflict has come on the back of a series of videos showing columns of Russian military hardware, including tanks and trucks, making their way towards positions along the border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine.
Ukraine has also reportedly increased its military presence on the border with Crimea in response to what the government describes as the potential for a Russian invasion “at any minute”. Nine Russian MI-8 helicopters and 2 drones have also reportedly been spotted in the area.
The fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian backed separatists in the eastern provinces of Ukraine has also seen an increase recently, resulting in a spike in casualties.