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SIMFEROPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces backed by helicopter gunships and armored vehicles Saturday took control of a village near the border with Crimea on the eve of a referendum on whether the region should seek annexation by Moscow, Ukrainian officials said.
Is this all just a freakin lark??
The Russkis don't futz around when they go to war.......Europe could be ablaze at any time soon ..............
KIEV, Ukraine — Scores of Russian troops landed by helicopter and seized a gas plant just beyond the regional border of Crimea on Saturday, the Ukrainian government said. The action was Russia’s most provocative since its forces took over Crimea two weeks ago.
The latest troop advance came one day before Crimea was set to vote on whether to secede from Ukraine, and it was testing Ukrainian leaders’ resolve to engage Russia’s much more powerful military if it moved beyond Crimea.
By late afternoon, Ukrainian troops were stationed outside the gas plant, which is on a slender sand bar to the east of the Crimean Peninsula, according to Unian, a Ukrainian news service, which quoted the local police. The news agency did not say if shots were fired.
The Ukrainian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the nation reserved the right to use all necessary measures to stop what it called a “military invasion by Russia.”
Ukraine's military scrambled aircraft and paratroops to confront Russian troops landing on a remote spit of land between Crimea and the mainland, defence officials said and the foreign ministry demanded their immediate withdrawal.
The border guard service said Ukrainian forces had taken up defensive positions on Arbatskaya Strelka, running parallel to the east of Crimea, now controlled by Russian forces. It said about 60 Russian troops had landed on the strip and begun digging in, assisted by three armoured personnel carriers.
Six Russian helicopters arrived with 60 more servicemen about two hours later outside the village of Strelkovoye. The border guard service said talks between the two sides established that the Russian servicemen were "guarding against possible terrorist acts" against a gas pumping station.
"At this time, there is no threat of confrontation," the Ukrainian border guard service said.
Crimea's new pro-Russian government said the region's "self-defence forces" had prevented an attempt to disable the station, which it said had stopped supplying gas to hospitals and residential buildings earlier in the day.
In a statement quoted by Russia's Itar-Tass news agency, it said people "in camouflage" had mined the site and fled.
reply to post by TritonTaranis
If they shoot they crush every possibility for a diplomatic solution. Do you want to be the one who set Europe on fire?
Russian Paratroopers Land In Kherson, Ukraine
If your friend is having a row with his neighbour because he's building his fence over your friends property/garden, and the neighbour grips him up by the neck when confronted about his actions