Most people don’t realize that this crisis has been simmering for over a week. The following is from a U.S. News & World Report article that was posted on November 19th…
A dispute over shipping lanes is threatening to reignite the 4-year-old simmering war between Ukraine and Russia following confrontations sparked by both sides in recent days.
Russian border guards on Monday detained Ukrainian fishing vessels in the Sea of Azov, a strategically important body of water contained to the north by Ukraine, to the west by the Crimean Peninsula and to the east and south by Russia. Monday’s incident came days after Russian President Vladimir Putin slammed Kiev for detaining Russian commercial ships also in the Azov in what he described as “a totally illegal move” and which Kremlin officials have warned may prompt retaliation.
The Russians blocked the Kerch Strait in retaliation for having had their own commercial vessels detained by the Ukrainian government.
And when the Ukrainians decided to test the Russians by sailing Ukrainian Navy vessels into the Kerch Strait, the Russians decided not to back down. The following comes from Sky News…
Russia has opened fire on Ukrainian ships and captured three vessels in a major escalation of tensions off the coast of Crimea.
Three sailors have been wounded after the Ukrainian navy said two artillery boats were hit by the strikes in the Black Sea.
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency session of his war cabinet and said he will propose that parliament declare martial law.
So the truth is that neither side is exactly “innocent” in this situation.
The Kerch Strait is absolutely critical, because it is the only way into and out of the Azov Sea…
The strait connects the Azov Sea with the Black Sea and runs between the Crimean Peninsula and Russia. It’s a shallow, narrow stretch of water just two to three miles (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers) wide at one point near the Chuska landspit.
The strait is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine, as it allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.
It’s also the the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. The international community has largely not recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but that did not stop Russia from building a bridge over the Kerch Strait connecting Crimea to mainland Russia. The Kerch Strait bridge was opened in May.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has also been gathering with his top military leaders. Poroshenko is pledging that Ukraine will not take any “offensive” military actions, but he also says that they are ready to defend against any attacks from Russia.
The Russians are accusing Poroshenko of manipulating this crisis in order to pump up his flagging approval ratings for the upcoming presidential elections. There is a very real possibility that Poroshenko could lose, and he is desperate to stay in office.
Of course, the Ukrainians are blaming Russia for everything, and Poroshenko says that what happened on Sunday “was an act of war”…
At this point, it is unclear what the Russians will do next.
Hopefully, they will see that a full-blown invasion of Ukraine would not be wise.
But if we directly intervene in a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that could very easily trigger World War 3.
Most Americans are not concerned that a conflict between Russia and Ukraine could potentially affect the United States, but the threat is very real. In fact, according to foreign correspondent Nolan Peterson such a war “teeters on the razor-thin edge of becoming real”…
This is the most dangerous moment I’ve seen in Ukraine in years. Tonight, a war that many people in America can only imagine thanks to Hollywood movies, teeters on the razor thin edge of becoming real. Tonight in Ukraine we go to sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
Let us hope for peace because right now the world is becoming a more chaotic place with each passing day…