14:12 Aug. 12, 2016
Russia accuses its neighbour of being uninterested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict. Ukraine says Russia is fabricating a reason to attack it
President Vladimir Putin's threat to retaliate after what he called Ukrainian "terror" in Crimea -- annexed by Russia from its neighbour two years ago -- has raised the prospect of a return to all-out war. Following are some questions and answers about the conflict and where it might be headed.
Russia says that Ukraine deployed agents to destabilise the Black Sea peninsula and alleges that two of its servicemen were killed in shootouts with them. Ukraine denies the accusations and officials in Kiev warned they may be fabricated a pretext for an attack. The claims haven't been corroborated and the situation is complicated by a lack of witnesses and the absence of media on the scene.
The conflict that erupted in Ukraine's easternmost regions after Russian-backed President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown 2 1/2 years ago hasn't gone away. While a peace accord signed in February 2015 stemmed the worst of the fighting, regular clashes between the army and the insurgents have resulted in a growing number of deaths. July was the deadliest month in almost a year, according to Ukraine's military.
In the meantime, Crimea remains under Russian control, though that state of affairs is only recognised by seven other countries, including North Korea and Venezuela. While the U.S. and the European Union say they'll maintain sanctions over the annexation until the territory is returned, there's no sign of that ever happening.