Putin lashes out at West for backing Ukraine

Hugh Fox
November 29, 2018

The move stoked already high tensions between Moscow and Kiev, as Russia continues to accuse the sailors of crossing illegally into Russian waters and of ignoring warnings from its border guards. "What were they supposed to do?"

At an investment forum in Moscow, Putin said the Kerch Strait incident was "without doubt a provocation" orchestrated by Poroshenko, Russian state media reported.

"They were fulfilling their military duty".

The Kremlin has warned that Ukraine's declaration of martial law in areas that border Russian Federation could re-ignite the fighting in eastern Ukraine. "They would do the same in your country".

Putin said Kiev's actions were "clearly taken in view of the election campaign in Ukraine".

Moscow and Kiev have traded angry accusations since Russian navy vessels fired on, boarded and captured the three Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea.

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Later in the day, following Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko's order, the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine made a decision to impose martial law in the country.

Volker said he has not received independent USA verification of Ukraine's information, but believed "the data the Ukrainians have provided is quite clear".

National Security adviser John Bolton said Mr Trump will also be meeting with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Argentine president Mauricio Macri, South Korea's Moon Jae-in, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

Moscow's announcement about new missiles follows its seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews on Sunday over what it said was their illegal entry into Russian waters, an allegation Ukraine denies.

Today, nine more were jailed, while pre-trial restrictions for three remaining sailors are not defined as they had been injured during the clash, hospitalised and could not be produced before the court.

"The occupation and subsequent militarisation of Crimea led to the expansion of the area of use of Russian warships and military aircraft in the Black Sea and far beyond, even the Mediterranean basin", he said.

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It has raised fears of a wider escalation - in a conflict that has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014 - and prompted global calls for restraint.

U.S. President Donald Trump, facing mounting pressure for a response that some critics called slow and inadequate, said on November 27 that he might cancel a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, tentatively planned to take place on the sidelines at the upcoming G20 summit in Buenos Aires later this week.

"I hope they understand that", he said.

On Monday, Ukraine's government announced that it would declare martial law in 10 of the regions that are believed to be at risk of a Russian military invasion.

It was unclear how it would be applied in the border areas and Poroshenko has suggested it is meant essentially as a preventative measure.

"The United States condemns this aggressive Russian action".

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