Putin Flies Into Crimea As Ukraine “Prepares For An Invasion”

From Zero Hedge:

 

Officially, Putin arrived on a working visit in Crimea, where he held a briefing with members of the Russian Security Council and visited the Tavrida international youth forum, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Friday. The schedule of Putin’s visit to Crimea, at least his fifth in the past two years, also involves meetings with local officials, according to local media reports that broke news of the visit this week.


Putin chairs a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council
at the Belbek airport near the Black sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea.

Crimea, which has been the topic of contention since early 2014, became a part of Russia after almost 97 percent of those who voted in a local referendum on the issue in 2014 supported the move. Ukraine did not recognize the outcomes of the referendum in Crimea and accused Russia of annexation; while many European nations have likewise not recognized the new territory, they have avoided escalating the debate with Russia.

In any case, two years after Russia and Ukraine came close to a state of war over the territory, it is again the focus of international tension, after the Russian president accused Kiev last week of sending saboteurs who clashed with Russian troops. Kiev, which has also fought a two year war against pro-Russian separatists in two eastern provinces, denies the border incident ever took place and calls it a fabrication that could be used as a pretext for a new Russian invasion.

As Reuters reports, the Russian leader has used threatening rhetoric, promising unspecified “counter-measures”, and has built up troops ahead of a big military exercise next month. He addressed the crisis again on Friday, opening a meeting of his Security Council at an air base near the naval port of Sevastopol …

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