Russia has seized Ukrainian naval vessels. Reports over twitter that it appears Ukraine is prepping for a conflict. It's air force has been placed on full combat readiness. The war cabinet will be meeting and the Ukrainian government has been in contact with NATO.
Fox News Ukraine's parliament voted on Monday to impose martial law for 30 days, one day after tensions rose as Russia allegedly fired at three Ukrainian naval vessels near Russia-occupied Crimea. The Ukrainian ships, along with their crews, were seized by Russian coast guard ships. Ukraine's navy said six sailors were wounded after Russian coast guards opened fire on the three Ukrainian ships near the Kerch Strait — the only outlet for Ukrainian vessels to the Black Sea — and then seized them. Ukraine is demanding the release of the ships and crewmen.
Monday's vote supported President Petro Poroshenko's motion.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE TENSIONS ESCALATE AFTER NAVAL VESSEL FRACAS; HALEY CALLS IT A 'PROVOCATION' Martial law in the country is set to include a partial mobilization and strengthening of the country's air defense. The measures before parliament also included vaguely worded steps such as "strengthening" anti-terrorism measures and "information security." Speaking at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley called Russia's reported actions an “outrageous violation of sovereign Ukrainian territory,” saying they marked “yet another reckless Russian escalation.” "[It's] an arrogant act that the international community must condemn," she added. "The United States will continue to stand with the people of Ukraine." Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, however, said Ukraine violated international law and provoked Russia by sending its navy vessels through the Kerch Strait without permission — a claim Ukraine's Ambassador to the U.N. Volodymyr Yelchenko called an "outright lie." Ukraine and Russia have been locked in a stalemate since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014. NATO said Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed the U.S.-led military alliance’s “full support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, including its full navigational rights in its territorial waters under international law.” The incident came after months of incidents in the Sea of Azov that involved inspections and seizures of ships. While a 2003 treaty designates the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov as shared territorial waters, Russia has sought to assert greater control over the passage since the annexation of Crimea. Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com.
I think Russia is using the Ukraine and Crimea to make a few points.
First they want their Crimean peninsula AND ALL THE UKRAINE back in the old USSR which is what Putin is trying to rebuild. Putin has always let it be known he wasn't happy about Glasnost in the Reagan and Gorbachev era. After the "Wall" came down the West moved on thinking all was now ok, the evil empire of Communist Russia had put their nuclear ambitions and expansionist policies behind them. And that might have been briefly the case.
But Putin was on the rise in the KGB of that time, and he didn't like it. Nor did the group I'd call his "handlers". These are the people within the KGB who helped him and others go to the forefront. They planned a lot of things, including a comeback for "Mother Russia". Putin still has people behind him he answers to.
Those news reporters who have documented the relationship between Putin his handlers, and the Oligarchs are mostly dead now of various "accidents". The ex pat who was poisoned in Britain was another Putin hit.
The Ukraine as an independent country is irritating to Putin etc. That must stop.
That message will be received by all the former Soviet Bloc, many of whom are happily moving away from Communist Russia and towards the west, like the Baltics, Hungary. Poland and others.
The other intent is to show America and the world that Russia is more than capable of grabbing and keeping Syria. With or without the blessing of the UN, NATO, America and her allies etc.
And finally this is also meant to discourage the Euro zone from doing anything to annoy their Russian neighbor and source of all their heating fuel oil, gas etc.
I don't think Russia will stop with Crimea. I think they plan to take the Ukraine, then the Baltics, and then the VISEGRAD group members that include Poland and Hungary. They are expanding and they are interested in doing so in their view to protect themselves
They have always seen the West as a threat to their existence and they felt the destruction of the former USSR was proof of that. Everything they do is viewed as creating buffer zones to protect Russia. And to create economic dominance so they are never again in the kind of economic meltdown that occurred after Glasnost. It was a TERRIBLE time in Russia. They haven't forgotten it.
Eventually they will want spoil, and Ez 38 will happen, but I think their reaction to the poverty they endured after the breakup of the USSR is what will drive that need.