12:32 Aug. 11, 2016
Kremlin's claims that Ukraine's involved in terrorism in Crimea caused storm in Kyiv
On August 10 Russian FSB security service said it had arrested several Ukrainians, allegedly responsible for organizing terrorist attacks in Crimea. FSB said the detained worked for Ukraine's Intelligence Service.
The incident caused a storm of reactions from both countries. Putin went as far as accusing ‘the people who seized power in Kyiv' of switching to ‘terror tactics', adding that he saw no point in holding new talks on Donbas conflict in China.
Ukraine, in turn, also decided not to mince words. 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.
'Russian accusations that Ukraine launched terror attacks in the occupied Crimea are equally cynical and insane as its claims there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine. These fantasies pursue the only goal: a pretext for more military threats against Ukraine', President Poroshenko slammed the Kremlin's claims.
He said that Russia itself provided money and arms to support terrorism in Ukraine, which was ‘a state-led policy on the occupied areas of Crimea and eastern Ukraine that resembles the Soviet Great Terror'.His position was echoed by many Ukrainian officials. Thus, the Secretary of the country's National Security and Defense Council called the FSB's statement 'hysteria and lies'.
Read also: An August Surprise from Russia?
'This is just another element of the hybrid war against our country. Putin is systematically preparing for escalation and the disruption of the Minsk agreements', Oleksandr Turchynov posted on Twitter.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's permanent rep to the Council of Europe, drew parallels with previous wars Russia had started in the past.
'In the year 1700, Russia declared war against Sweden after in 1967 a guard forbade Peter the Great from eyeballing the reinforcements of Riga through a spyglass. The key factor in the FSB's statement is the shelling from Ukraine and the death of a Russian soldier. Don't forget that officially tanks went to Georgia after Russian peacekeepers died in South Ossetia. Force is once again the dominant value in Europe', he said.
‘Imperial FSB has accused Ukrainian Intelligence of organizing mass terror acts in occupied Crimea. It resembles the start of the World War II and ‘Polish capture' of the radio tower in Gliwice', Ukrainian nationalist and politician Dmytro Yarosh stated.
Another lawmaker and President's envoy at the Minsk peace talks Iryna Gerashchenko said the incident could be Moscow's attempt to resolve the sanctions issue.
‘Russia's goal is to be rid of the sanctions by all means possible, by accusing Ukraine of committing all mortal sins, including terrorism, sabotage, violations, non-fulfillment, hesitations. We have no right to play along with this scenario', Gerashchenko said.
Ukraine's representative in the Trilateral contact group in Minsk Yevhen Marchuk, in turn, criticized Ukraine's inactivity while Putin was restoring connections with Europe. He said panic shouldn't be escalated, but well-informed people should ‘lay a professional emphasis' to make it clearer what is going on and why.
‘When Putin said that? After reaching agreements with Erdogan. What was his main obstacle in the Black Sea, the Bosphorus, Syria? Turkey, and only then NATO. Was Putin's visit to another NATO member Slovenia successful? It was. Did Putin and the British PM agree to meet? It may not seem significant, but they did? Where were our President and diplomats? Far away from Europe, even though his visit was very important. But what happened during the week he was absent in Europe?', Marchuk said.
Stay tuned for more news on the Crimean incident.