Saturday, August 13, 2016

What Is Russia' End Game By Rising Tensions Over Crimea?

Sarah Rainsford, BBC News: Crimea tension: What is Russia's end game?

When it comes to recent events in Crimea, there are still more questions than answers.

Russian state TV channels have broadcast footage of men confessing to a plot to carry out terror attacks on the peninsula, that was annexed by Russia in 2014.

The suspected saboteurs tell interrogators they were acting on orders from Kiev. Ukraine denies any involvement and calls it a provocation.

Local residents near the scene do report hearing shots fired last Saturday night, when the FSB security service says it intercepted the first group of men.

But the FSB statement describes a second attempted incursion of Crimea accompanied by "massive fire from the neighbouring state and armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian armed forces".

No video footage or independent confirmation of that incident has yet emerged.

Read more ....

WNU editor: This BBC report quotes Andrei Kortunov of the Russian International Affairs Council who says that Russia will not want to disrupt the "micro-detente" that is now occurring with some countries in the West .... and the erason why is simple .... the goal is to lift sanctions not to reinforce it by increasing tensions in the region. I agree that this is the important long term goal .... but there is another big factor in play .... more specifically .... Russian parliamentary elections next month. Putin and his party are not confident that they will do well in these elections .... hence the ramping up of the rhetoric against Ukraine as a diversion from other negative news. Will this be successful .... I doubt it. Ukraine is not the main issue for most Russians .... it is the economy that concerns them, and they are now starting to lose trust that Putin is the right man for the job.

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