Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has instructed troops on the Crimean border and in eastern Ukraine to be on "high alert." (Photo: Reuters)

'High Alert': Ukraine and Russia Building Up Military at Crimean Border

'The events are developing according to a pretty negative scenario. Neither side has any trust in the other.'

Deirdre Fulton

Both Ukraine and Russia are escalating military activity along the Crimean border, as tensions between the two nations—largely stoked by the West—mount once again.

On Thursday, a Ukrainian spokesman said that in recent days, there has been "a strengthening of the [Russian] units that are at the border."

Meanwhile, in response to Russian claims that the Ukrainian government was plotting terrorist attacks inside Crimea, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday ordered "all military units near Crimea and the eastern Ukrainian Donbas region to be at the highest level of combat readiness," RT reports.

The Ukrainian security forces at the border with Crimea are ready "for any turn of events," Ukrainian border guard spokesman Oleg Slobodyan told journalists at a press briefing.

Foreign Policy reports:

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Volodymyr Yelchenko, Ukraine's ambassador to the United Nations, drew parallels between the current situation in Crimea and the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian War in 2008, which also coincided with the Summer Olympics and a U.S. election. 

"This scenario looks very similar and very familiar," said Yelchenko. "That's why we stand ready for further provocative developments."

And the Kremlin said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a meeting with his Security Council to discuss additional security measures and tightening border controls in Crimea.

"There may be escalation in eastern Ukraine and that is very dangerous," Alexei Makarkin, deputy head of the Moscow-based Center for Political Technologies, told Bloomberg on Thursday. "The events are developing according to a pretty negative scenario. Neither side has any trust in the other."

Unsurprisingly, voices in the West pinned blame for the recent escalation on Russia.

U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt dismissed Russia's latest claims against Kyiv:

"We don't want to be distracted from the real issue here, which is not only Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, but their continued aggression in eastern Ukraine," State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau added to reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

And a NATO official called on Moscow to "work for calm and de-escalation," adding that "Russia's recent military activity in Crimea is not helpful for easing tensions."

But as investigative journalist Robert Parry wrote last month, "the endless drumbeat of Western media reports about 'Russian aggression' results from a clever demonization campaign against Putin and a classic Washington 'group think' rather than from a careful intelligence analysis."

"The real narrative based on actual facts would have acknowledged that it was the West, not Russia, that instigated the Ukraine crisis by engineering the violent overthrow of elected President Viktor Yanukovych and the imposition of a new Western-oriented regime hostile to Moscow and Ukraine’s ethnic Russians," Parry argued.

He continued:

In the up-is-down world that NATO and other Western agencies now inhabit, Russia's military maneuvers within it own borders in reaction to NATO maneuvers along Russia’s borders are "provocative." So, too, is Russia's support for the internationally recognized government of Syria, which is under attack from Islamic terrorists and other armed rebels supported by the West’s Mideast allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and NATO member Turkey.

In other words, it is entirely all right for NATO and its members to invade countries at will, including Iraq, Libya and Syria, and subvert others as happened in Ukraine and is still happening in Syria. But it is impermissible for any government outside of NATO to respond or even defend itself. To do so amounts to a provocation against NATO—and such hypocrisy is accepted by the West’s mainstream news media as the way that the world was meant to be.

Earlier this year, news outlets reported that the United States was ramping up the deployment of heavy weapons and armored vehicles to NATO member countries in Central and Eastern Europe, citing "suspicions" about Russia's motives in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Urge DOJ Antitrust Probe Into $43 Billion Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger

"Giant corporations must not be allowed to stomp out competition, put up barriers to enter the market, and continue to exclude Latinos from the media industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


'We Won't Stop Fighting,' Vow South African Activists After Judge OKs Shell Seismic Blasting at Sea

"We must do everything we can to undo the destructive colonial legacy of extractivism, until we live in a world where people and the planet come before the profits of toxic fossil fuel companies."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biden Continues Drilling Boom on Public Lands Despite Campaign Pledge, Analysis Shows

"The reality is that in the battle between the oil industry and Biden, the industry is winning."

Julia Conley ·


Big Oil Profits Surge to $174 Billion in 2021 Amid Rising Gas Prices: Report

"Americans looking for someone to blame for the pain they experience at the pump need look no further than the wealthy oil and gas company executives who choose to line their own pockets."

Kenny Stancil ·


Rights Groups Decry 'Farcical and Corrupt' Verdict as Myanmar's Suu Kyi Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

"There are many detainees without the profile of Aung San Suu Kyi who currently face the terrifying prospect of years behind bars simply for peacefully exercising their human rights."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo