After a public handshake between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk on August 26, hopes for peace have vanished as Ukraine and its allies say Russia has sent more than 1000 regular troops into the two easternmost oblasts of Ukraine.
Poroshenko accused Russia of instigating a “sharp aggravation” by having Russian military forces take the tactically important southeastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk. Military experts, meanwhile, believe the new offensive could be the beginning of an attempt to take over southeastern Ukraine and adjoin it with the Kremlin-occupied Crimean peninsula.
“To be sincere, the situation really is extremely difficult, and nobody is going to simplify it,” Poroshenko said on August 28. “But it is under control, under enough control not to give way to panic, keep a cool head, common sense and a plan of our further actions.”
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(Archive photo: Ukraine defence ministry)