Russia war against Ukraine: Tensions escalate as Russia accuses Ukraine of plotting terror attack in Crimea (Updates)
Crime17:07 Aug. 10, 2016

Tensions escalate as Russia accuses Ukraine of plotting terror attack in Crimea (Updates)

Ukraine puts forces on high alert fearing further Russian provocations

August 13

10:15 Russia fully responsible for Crimea provocations - Biden

The responsibility for military provocations on the administrative border between the Crimean peninsula and mainland Ukraine is on Russia, said US vice president Joe Biden during a phone conversation with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, the president's press service reports. Full story

August 12

16:07 Medvedev leaves all options open as to diplomatic break-off with Ukraine

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said all options are on table when asked if the diplomatic relations with Ukraine could be severed.

Medvedev stressed that Russia's President could make such a decision if there is no alternative Full story

15:30 Ukraine intel confirms exchange of fire between Russian units in Crimea

The exchange of gunfire on late August 6 near Armiansk in Crimea involved only Russian soldiers. That's according to Vadym Skibitskyi, Main Directorate of Intelligence's representative.

"According to our information, over the night on August 6-7 there was indeed a shootout between soldiers of Russia's armed forces and soldiers of Russia's border guards near Armiansk," Skibitskyi said during a briefing on Friday. "The main reason is the units' failure to identify each other leading to fire for effect," he added.

12:52 What if Russia cuts off diplomatic ties with Ukraine?

Several days after Moscow declared it had allegedly arrested Ukrainian sabotage group, Russian media shared rumours that the Kremlin was going to sever diplomatic ties with Kyiv. The move, if it happens, is seen as ‘retaliation' for the so-called terrorist attack in Crimea, which Russia claims was organised by Ukraine's Intelligence Service. Full story

11:28 Russia considers severing diplomatic ties with Ukraine, final choice up to Putin – Izvestia

Russia is considering the possibility of severing the diplomatic relations with Ukraine after the developments on the administrative border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine, Russian newspaper Izvestia reports. Full story

10:22 US calls on all sides of Russia-Ukraine tension in Crimea to avoid escalation

The US has called on Russia and Ukraine to avoid any actions that might aggravate the situation on the administrative border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine. Full story

08:35 Amassing Russian troops along border is not a coincidence - Ukraine's UN envoy

The UN Security Council has convened for an urgent meeting concerning the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, including the latest developments on the administrative border between Crimea and mainland Ukraine. Full story

00:52 UN Security Council reaffirms position on territorial integrity of Ukraine

The Security Council members strongly supported Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity including Crimea. Full story

August 11

19:00 Russia has not provided any tangible evidence for its accusations against Ukraine - NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has said it has been monitoring with concern a rise in tensions between Russia and Ukraine and urges Moscow to work towards the de-escalation of the situation, UNIAN reports.

"We are monitoring closely and with concern the heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine," the statement read. 

"We are reassured by Ukraine's resolute condemnation of terrorism in all its shapes and forms. We note that Ukraine has strongly rejected Russia's accusations, and made clear that Kyiv is devoted to restoring its territorial integrity exclusively through political and diplomatic means. We further note that Russia has not provided any tangible evidence for its accusations against Ukraine," as noted in the statement.

18:10 'No independent confirmation of Russian claims' – Mogherini's spokesperson

The European Union states there has been no independent confirmation of the claims made by the Russian authorities regarding Ukraine's involvement in the events in Crimea, UNIAN reported referring to a statement of Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for the European External Action Service. Full story

17:20 Ukraine border guards advise against visiting occupied Crimea after FSB provocation

The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine recommends not travelling to the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea due to the tense situation on the peninsula, which has been escalated by the Russian occupiers, Ukrainian Border Guard Service press secretary Oleh Slobodyan said at a briefing on Thursday Full story

15:15 Poroshenko puts troops on high alert in response to Russia's Crimea attack allegations

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko ordered to enhance the level of combat readiness of all the formations and units serving at the administrative border with the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula and the militant-controlled Donbas territories.

The decision was taken after Poroshenko has held an extraordinary meeting with the country's top security, military and law enforcement officers Full story

14:30 No evidence to corroborate Russia's claims of 'Crimea incursion' - US Ambassador

US government has seen nothing that corroborates Russian allegations of a 'Crimea incursion,' the US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt wrote on Twitter on August 11. Full story

12:20 ‘Hysteria, fantasies and Hitler's tactics' - how Ukraine's politicians react to Russian allegations

Kremlin's claims that Ukraine's involved in terrorism in Crimea caused storm in Kyiv.Various politicians called Russia's allegations a ‘hysteria' and even compared its tactics to those of Hitler, who had used fake Polish attack to start the World War II. Full story

11:00 Brother of Yevhen Panov, arrested in Crimea, says he was kidnapped

Russia accuses Panov of working for Ukraine's Intelligence service and planning terror attacks on the peninsula. Kyiv denies these allegations. 

Yevhen Panov is so far the only man that Russia has officially named among the several arrested alleged ‘terrorists'. Full story

09:50 Crimea incident yet another Kremlin-manufactured provocation, Ukraine says

Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Ministry has issued an official statement, condemning Russia's claims that Kyiv tried to organise terrorist attacks in Crimea. In the statement, the Ministry says it rejects all accusations and calls them 'completely groundless'. Full story

22:15 US State Department reminded that Washington considers occupied Crimea a part of Ukraine. - said at a briefing Elizabeth Trudeau, Director of State Department Press Office, reports UNIAN. "We do not want to get distracted from the real problem here, that lies not only in Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea but also in ongoing aggression at the East of Ukraine. We condemn it and call for an immediate stop of the Russian occupation of Crimea. Sanctions will remain in place until Russia turns back the peninsula to Ukraine", said Trudeau.



20:40 Parliamentarian Anton Gerashenko says Russia tries to pass its defectors as members of Ukrainian intelligence.


20:00 Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius reacts to Russian accusations

19:10 Defense Ministry of Ukraine denies Russia's allegations on supposed subversive activities of Ukrainian intelligence in occupied Crimea.

Such claims are nothing more than an attempt to explain redeployment and aggressive actions of Russian army units at the annexed peninsula, says ministry in a statement. Russian secret service try to draw the attention of local inhabitants and international community away from turning Crimea into an isolated military base.

Allegations of shelling the peninsula by Ukrainian troops are also unreasonable. Crimea is and will always be Ukrainian land, and its people are Ukrainian citizens, - stated the Ministry of Defense.  

18:35 Russian president Vladimir Putin: "This will not go unnoticed" - UNIAN

18:30 Russian president Vladimir Putin: "Terror act in Crimea is a reason to cancel the ‘Normandy format' meeting in China - UNIAN

18:00 Oleksandr Turchynov, security and defence secretary, calls the allegations "a hysterical and deceitful statement". Turchynov considers the whole story to be just one more element of hybrid war against Ukraine. The secretary explained that the only reason for Russia to make such allegations is to stir up enmity and exacerbate the situation at temporary occupied Ukrainian territory.  

17:30 Russian lawyers Polozov and Feygin, former defendants of Nadiya Savchenko, think that the case is just a start of more serious events. Nikolai Polozov writes "there were no terror acts in Crimea before "Russian world" and FSB came there":

His colleague Mark Feygin makes more suggestions: "Let me assume that we see the beginning of a "bid Crimea case" on terrorism. Kremlin is still unsure, but meeting with Erdogan encouraged its optimism":


Russian FSB security service claims it has exposed and arrested a group of Ukrainians, who allegedly infiltrated Crimea to organise terrorist attacks on the peninsula. The group was trained by Ukraine's Intelligence Office, according to the information published on the official website of Russian security service (link in Russian)

The event unfolded on late Saturday, August 6 near Armyansk town in northern Crimea. FSB claims, its officer was gunned down after Russian servicemen attempted to arrest the Ukrainians.

Read also: Ukraine deploys military hardware to checkpoints with Crimea - General Staff

An arsenal of explosives was found at the site, allegedly brought in by the sabotage group, including 40 kilograms of self-made bombs, landmines, grenades and weapons.

Russia also claims it has arrested Yevhen Panov, naming him a member of Ukraine's Intelligence. He is among several Ukrainian and Russian citizens that are currently interrogated by the FSB.

Furthermore, Ukraine's intelligence allegedly made two more attempts to infiltrate the peninsula on August 8. Their movement was supported by direct shelling from Ukrainian territory. Another Russian serviceman died in the clashes.

Moscow says it has liquidated a network of agents in Crimea, installed by Ukrainian intelligence service. The FSB has initiated a criminal investigation of the fighting and reinforced its border with Ukraine.

Read also: Russia's military hardware, helicopters spotted along checkpoints with Crimea

Kyiv, in turn, has called the allegations a ‘provocation'.

"The events started to develop on early August 7 and social networks in occupied Crimea began circulating the allegations that some sabotage group had infiltrated Crimea. We reacted immediately by informing that Ukrainian servicemen are located at certain regions and do their tasks according to the plan. Any claims like these are a provocation", Ukrainian military spokesman Vladislav Seleznev said in an interview with Ukrainian Office of RFE/RL. 

"We are refuting the information from the FSB. Ukraine is not trying to regain Crimea by force", Yuriy Tandit, an advisor to Ukraine's security service SSU said. 

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