Whilst still maintaining that it has no plans to invade Ukraine Russia has trotted out the same line it used just before it marched into Crimea:
‘We reserve the right to defend ethnic Russians in the country’ Kiev was also warned not to use force against pro-Russian demonstrators.
Eastern Ukraine was the heartland of Viktor Yanukovich, the ousted president of Ukraine, and the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk have a large ethnic Russian population, and a majority of Russian speakers. The towns are just a few miles from the Russian border where thousands of Russian troops are amassed.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, has said the protests in the east do not appear to be “A spontaneous set of events” and that further attempts by Russia to destabilize Ukraine will incur heavy penalties.
In reply, Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow was “monitoring the events in eastern Ukraine closely, particularly the Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv regions”.
With surrounding countries already calling for NATO to move troops into the area the situation is deteriorating fast. Obviously the sanctions imposed by the West are not having the desired effect on bringing Russia to heel, something that doesn’t surprise most people.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said yesterday:
“If Russia moves into eastern Ukraine, either overtly or covertly, this would be a very serious escalation.”
A few minutes ago Ukraine announced its military had taken back government buildings in Kharkiv and they were intending to do the same in Donetsk and Luhansk. Speaking to Russia Today the Russian foreign ministry said:
“We are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] special task police unit Sokol,”the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.“Organizers and participants of such incitement are assuming a huge responsibility for threatening upon the rights, freedoms and lives of Ukrainian citizens as well as the stability of Ukraine.”
Greystone, according to their website, provide a variety of services from site security and management to aviation operations and training solutions to “customers in challenging environments” From their website:
Greystone provides highly trained, sophisticated and culturally knowledgeable personnel to support your operations. We quickly create turn-key solutions that are tailored to meet each customer’s unique requirements and circumstances. We call in the best people to create the best solutions to support our customer’s mission and ensure their success.
Our personnel are our most important asset. Greystone’s worldwide network permits the company to select the right people. We draw from the premier law enforcement agencies, militaries and corporate entities throughout the world. Greystone carefully screens and evaluates all candidates to ensure only the highest caliber individuals are selected. Our on-site management team ensures that our personnel employ best practices while executing projects efficiently and effectively.
We scale our solutions to fit the customer’s needs. Greystone can support subtle, low-profile efforts that bolster and integrate with existing customer assets, or we can provide full-scale static and mobile security solutions. Our goal is to foster a safe and secure environment, allowing our customers to conduct their business without distraction.
We take pride in our agility, speed and ability to execute support operations anywhere in the world. Our cultural understanding and international business experience emulate life in the host country and reflects positively on our client.
In Retaliation to Moscows comments the White House said:
“We call on President Putin and his government to cease efforts to destabilize Ukraine,” No comment was made on the employment of Greystone Ltd.
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