Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Russian Intervention in Ukraine Likely, NATO says

By ANDREW E. KRAMER, NYT

DONETSK, Ukraine — The prospect of a Russian intervention in eastern Ukraine appeared to rise sharply on Monday, threatening to tear open what is already the greatest fissure between the East and West in the post-Cold War era.

As the Kremlin announced that it had sent a convoy of humanitarian aid to the besieged, separatist-held city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine under the auspices of the Red Cross, the secretary-general of NATO said there was a “high probability” of a Russian attack and Ukraine raised its estimate of Russian troop strength on the border.

With Russian officials and the country’s government-controlled media expressing mounting concern over the humanitarian situation in the besieged, rebel-held cities of Donetsk and Luhansk, Western governments have grown increasingly concerned about any Russian aid missions. They fear the missions could serve as a pretext for a military incursion to support hard-pressed pro-Russian separatists fighting the Ukrainian Army.

In a telephone conversation Monday with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, the president of the European Union, José Manuel Barroso, “warned against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian,” the group said in a statement.

(More here.)

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