Moscow accuses Ukrainian troops of invading Russian territory

posted at 9:21 am on August 4, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Well, what goes around comes around.

Overnight, according to a report in the Interfax news agency, Russia alleged that over 400 Ukrainian troops crossed the border into Russian territory.

The Associated Press reported on Monday that it is unclear why the raid occurred, as both sides are offering conflicting accounts of the motivation for the incursion.

The Russian official said the soldiers deserted the Kiev government and the Russian side opened a safe corridor, while a Ukrainian military official said the soldiers, without giving a number, were forced into Russian territory by rebel fire after running out of ammunition.

This is not the first Ukrainian intrusion into Russian territory. “Last week, a group of about 40 men from Ukraine’s 51st Mechanized Brigade crossed into Russia,” The Washington Post reported on Sunday. “They have since returned to Ukraine of their own volition and at least some are being accused of desertion.”

The Russian defense industry revealed on Monday that it plans on holding military exercises on the Ukrainian border this week. Those exercises will focus on air readiness, according to the BBC, which reported that the drills will involve over 100 military aircraft including “Sukhoi Su-27 and MiG-31 fighter jets, Mi-24 and Mi-28 helicopters and Russia’s newest frontline bomber, the Sukhoi Su-34.”

Combined with the reported 15,000 Russian troops amassed along the Ukrainian border, fears are growing that Moscow may choose to mount an outright invasion of the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine where separatist fighters rages.

However, as Andrew Bowden wrote last week in Foreign Policy, Russian President Vladimir Putin may be taking on more than he bargained for with a full-scale invasion:

Russia does not have the force ready at the border for a full-scale invasion and occupation of eastern Ukraine. But it doesn’t need to. Putin does not want to annex the large and economically depressed region, despite the increasingly vocal calls from Russia’s nationalist right and the Russian commanders in charge of the insurgency. Even if he did, from a strategic point of view, he has missed his best opportunity. In May and June, Russia had its best units poised and positioned on Ukraine’s borders. Since then, however, the rotation of conscripted soldiers has put fresh, less-than-battle-ready soldiers into the field.

Of course, analysts wrote similar warnings about Russia’s intention to invade and annex the Crimean Peninsula – an indebted and cut off region with little economic value in spite of obvious strategic worth. In the end, peninsula’s the strategic usefulness led Russia to absorb the economic consequences of invading Ukrainian territory.

From a Western perspective, creating negative economic pressure on the Kremlin and on the Russian people may still force Putin to rethink the sense of his gambit in Ukraine. After nearly half a year of economic warfare against Russia, Putin has only escalated the situation on that European battlefield.


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What are the odds?

Two of the most powerful countries in the world, and both being led by fools…

right2bright on August 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Maybes the USSR should of sent there Border Customs Agents sooner,
and thats why Ukraine Military said Boink this, were not wait’n!!

Jus say’n,..(sarc)

canopfor on August 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Let’s see:

Israel is still waging war against a terrorist organization in Gaza.

Russia continues to rip away at the territory of a sovereign nation.

Lebanon and Libya are unholy messes.

Iran is even closer to becoming a nuclear power……..

A bunch of filthy vermin continue to pour over our Southern border because of Obama’s invitation. There is a brewing health crisis as these parasites are bringing disease along with their Obama sneakers.

SO……….. this must be the week ahead of the Obama annual vacation to the Vineyard. Fifteen days of biking, ice cream, and not having to deal with the common folk.

Happy Nomad on August 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Sounds eerily familiar. The Germans accused Polish troops of attacking a German radio station as a pretense for invasion in September of 1939.

Of course, that was news to the Poles, since it was entirely false action. Seems Putin, unlike president mom-jeans, reads and understands history.

TKindred on August 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Moscow may choose to mount an outright invasion of the eastern and southern parts of Ukraine where separatist fighters rages.

Not to nitpick but wouldn’t that be separatist fighting that is raging? I don’t care how mad the separatist fighters are.

Happy Nomad on August 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Sounds eerily familiar. The Germans accused Polish troops of attacking a German radio station as a pretense for invasion in September of 1939.

TKindred on August 4, 2014 at 9:37 AM

The key difference here is that Ukraine admits that their soldiers crossed the border. The German event was a false flag operation by the Nazis.

I personally think it is important that while the U.S. has to oppose Russian expansionism, we should be very careful about how close we get to governments like Ukraine’s, which is both corrupt and incompetent.

AngusMc on August 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Poland “invaded” Germany in 1939 and looked what happened.

Krupnikas on August 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

su34 is a fighter bomber not a bomber, HUGE difference.
some classify it a heavy strike fighter comparable to F15 and is, from what I have read, formidable.

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

forgot a link
http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Fullback.html

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

From a Western perspective, creating negative economic pressure on the Kremlin and on the Russian people may still force Putin to rethink the sense of his gambit in Ukraine. After nearly half a year of economic warfare against Russia, Putin has only escalated the situation on that European battlefield.

Headline : Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/land-for-gas-secret-german-deal-could-end-ukraine-crisis-9638764.html

workingclass artist on August 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Giving Hitler Putin Sudetenland wasn’t enough? Now he wants ALL of Czechoslovakia Ukraine?? But, but, but Chamberlain Obama had assurances!

NotCoach on August 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

This is about Putin’s Blacksea pipeline…

“Germany and Russia have been working on a secret plan to broker a peaceful solution to end international tensions over Ukraine.

The Independent can reveal that the peace plan, being worked on by both Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin, hinges on two main ambitions: stabilising the borders of Ukraine and providing the financially troubled country with a strong economic boost, particularly a new energy agreement ensuring security of gas supplies.

More controversially, if Ms Merkel’s deal were to be acceptable to the Russians, the international community would need to recognise Crimea’s independence and its annexation by Russia, a move that some members of the United Nations might find difficult to stomach.

Sources close to the secret negotiations claim that the first part of the stabilisation plan requires Russia to withdraw its financial and military support for the various pro-separatist groups operating in eastern Ukraine. As part of any such agreement, the region would be allowed some devolved powers….

However, Russia is still the EU’s third-biggest trading partner with cross-border trade of $460bn (£272bn) last year, and the latest sanctions being introduced by the EU towards Russian individuals and banks will hurt European countries more than any other – particularly Germany, but also the City of London.

Central to the negotiations over any new gas deal with Gazprom is understood to be one of Ukraine’s wealthiest businessmen, the gas broker, Dmitry Firtash. Mr Firtash – who negotiated the first big gas deal between Ukraine and Russia between 2006 and 2009 – is now living in Vienna fighting extradition charges from the Americans. But he has close relations with the Russian and Ukrainian leaders – he supported Mr Poroschenko – and has been acting as a go-between behind the scenes at the highest levels….”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/land-for-gas-secret-german-deal-could-end-ukraine-crisis-9638764.html

workingclass artist on August 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

I wouldn’t be surprised if China and Russia are searching for a handy place to dump their pesky muslim militants….Hmmmm….where can we send them…

Syria and the USA perhaps?

double ++ good

workingclass artist on August 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
3m
Ukraine is deploying missile launchers, multiple rocket systems near Donetsk, Russian Foreign Ministry says – @Reuters
End of alert

https://twitter.com/Reuters

canopfor on August 4, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Erasure of a border is considered in some circles as “stabilization”.

Steve Eggleston on August 4, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The people of Ukraine have to stand up and fight for their country and that means they will have to get bloody doing it.

No offense, Noah, but isn’t the Ebola issue slightly more important to us at this moment?

Among the significant revelations are that individuals from nations currently suffering from the world’s largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak across the porous U.S. border into the interior of the United States. At least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the U.S. by U.S. authorities between January 2014 and July 2014.

http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/08/03/Leaked-CBP-Report-Shows-Entire-World-Exploiting-Open-US-Border

Look all AQ has to do is send infected recruits to infect as many other border crossers as possible. You think they don’t know that?

Obama has seriously screwed us.

dogsoldier on August 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

su34 is a fighter bomber not a bomber, HUGE difference.
some classify it a heavy strike fighter comparable to F15 and is, from what I have read, formidable.

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM

In other words, the Su-34 is the Strike Eagle-ski.

Steve Eggleston on August 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM

In other words, the Su-34 is the Strike Eagle-ski.

Steve Eggleston on August 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM

lol yes-ski

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

100 years to the day.

formwiz on August 4, 2014 at 10:15 AM

the 34 is really based of the su-27 and the 27 has been shown to out maneuver the F15 in US based tests.
Sukhoi a/c, while not as electrically advanced as some, are not to be easily dismissed. their downfall would be logistics to support them.
its somewhat intriguing that items like this are being tossed into the mix.
is it proof of anything? no.
but it damned well better be monitored.

dmacleo on August 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Moscow accuses Ukrainian troops of invading Russian territory

In 1939 Germany invaded Poland on the grounds of “self defense” because Poland hand invaded Germany first!! A fly attacking a spider.

MaiDee on August 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Moscow accuses Ukrainian troops of invading Russian territory

In 1939 Germany invaded Poland on the grounds of “self defense” because Poland had invaded Germany first!! A fly attacking a spider.

MaiDee on August 4, 2014 at 10:22 AM

…will involve mover 100 military aircraft

…and southern parts of Ukraine where separatist fighters rages.

In the end, peninsula’s the strategic usefulness led Russia to…

Pathetic proof reading for a “professional” writer. Nearly every post…

Yoop on August 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

… and I should have spelled that proofreading.

Yoop on August 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

No offense, Noah, but isn’t the Ebola issue slightly more important to us at this moment?

dogsoldier on August 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

No. It’s not even a pimple on a whale’s a$$.

NotCoach on August 4, 2014 at 10:48 AM

In the end, peninsula’s the strategic usefulness led Russia to absorb the economic consequences of invading Ukrainian territory.

Good grief, I typically hate to be the spelling/grammar nanny, but holy crap, wtf kind of sentence is that?

Midas on August 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Good grief, I typically hate to be the spelling/grammar nanny, but holy crap, wtf kind of sentence is that?

Midas on August 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

That’s one thing I miss about newspapers – a decent copy editor who would have sent the piece back for a rewrite.

Steve Eggleston on August 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Yes, I know newspapers are still around, but by and large copy editors are not (or at least not in their traditional role as correctors of typographical and grammatical errors).

Steve Eggleston on August 4, 2014 at 11:15 AM

What I can’t understand is why Ed or Allah don’t either insist that Noah re-read his own copy and make changes, or hire someone who can do it for him.

Unless, of course, Noah does proof his articles and he thinks all of these errors are grammatically fine.

Edith Stifle on August 4, 2014 at 11:19 AM

What I can’t understand is why Ed or Allah don’t either insist that Noah re-read his own copy and make changes, or hire someone who can do it for him.

Unless, of course, Noah does proof his articles and he thinks all of these errors are grammatically fine.

Edith Stifle on August 4, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Like I said up-thread, nearly every post.

But, having said that, Ed and Allah, and others, miss a few in their post on occasion. It seems in a lot of more recent writings (and most evident in the cut-and-paste they include from other sources) chronically lack the proper pronouns and prepositions, especially prepositions. A lot of this has the appearance of an undue reliance upon auto correct.

Yoop on August 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

August 4, 1914
100 years since the entry of Great Britain into The Great War, which at this point now involved all the major powers.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If we had any diplomatic competence and leverage, this would be the time to hold an emergency summit with Putin and Poroshenko to avert further bloodshed before Donetsk becomes another Stalingrad and prompts Russian intervention. But we don’t have either. The quid pro quo is as obvious as can be: Ukraine guarantees neutrality (i.e., won’t join NATO or EU) and amnesty for the rebels in exchange for the Donbass and Russian non-intervention. A child could see that this is what Putin wants.

spiritof61 on August 4, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I can’t reach the same conclusion as you as have, Noah. The last half year of economic warfare has made tremendous progress. First, it stopped the all-out military invasion of the Ukraine, which most analysts considered a strong possibility at the time (and still do). Second, Russia has ceased all overt actions in meddling with Ukrainian sovereignty. Since the Crimean annexation, Putin has not annexed any other parts of the Ukraine. Furthermore, he has not sent his troops to the Crimean Peninsula to secure his new claim. He’s now left supplying the Ukrainian separatists with weapons and arms, along with military intelligence, which is essentially the same thing that we’re providing to the Ukrainian government.

ConservOvrGOP on August 4, 2014 at 12:07 PM

No offense, Noah, but isn’t the Ebola issue slightly more important to us at this moment?

dogsoldier on August 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

For any American (living in America) the chance of dying of Ebola is about the same a being hit by a meteor. Certainly any disease that kills 2 out of every 3 commands respect but Ebola is just not an efficient mass killer.

However, if you substitute ‘Ebola’ for ‘HIGHLY COMMUNICABLE DISEASES’ , you are spot on. Illegal aliens sneaking into the USA are carrying literally hundreds of disease (among them are possibly Ebola) including mass killers like pneumonic plague, cholera, typhus, typhoid, hepatitis , various influenza strains and probably some deadly bugs that haven’t even been ID’ed yet.

MaiDee on August 4, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Moscow accuses Ukrainian troops of invading Russian territory

Russia made no such accusation.

Not even your own links support that.

Russia Today

Over 400 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia for refuge

More than 400 Ukrainian troops have been allowed to cross into Russia after requesting sanctuary. It’s the largest, but not the first, case of desertion into Russia by Ukrainian soldiers involved in Kiev’s military crackdown in the east of the country.

According to the Rostov Region’s border guard spokesman Vasily Malaev, a total of 438 soldiers, including 164 Ukrainian border guards, have been allowed into Russia on Sunday night.

They are running from the southern cauldron which has been overrun by the rebels.

sharrukin on August 4, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Moscow accuses Ukrainian troops of invading Russian territory

LOL. What’s new is old again. Vlad can haz pretext.

dissent555 on August 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Russia Today…

Over 400 Ukrainian troops cross into Russia for refuge

RT? Really? You Putin fans can’t do better than that? LOL

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 1:34 PM

RT? Really? You Putin fans can’t do better than that? LOL

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Are you stupid enough to really think they invaded Russia?

sharrukin on August 4, 2014 at 1:36 PM

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/land-for-gas-secret-german-deal-could-end-ukraine-crisis-9638764.html

workingclass artist on August 4, 2014 at 9:53 AM

I am sure Herr Hitler will stop at the Sudetenland.

slickwillie2001 on August 4, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Are you stupid enough to really think they invaded Russia?

No. I cross checked with more reliable sources and the story seems to be true.
You know, broken clock right twice a day…

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

No. I cross checked with more reliable sources and the story seems to be true.

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Reliable sources shouldn’t include Noah Rothman or a great many others who are all too often included in that. CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and Media Matters are not what I would call reliable or unbiased, and RT or Al Jazeera gets it right a hell of a lot more often than they do.

Even better is that you don’t have to read about the latest Kardashian exploits or black holes swallowing airplanes.

sharrukin on August 4, 2014 at 2:02 PM

Putin got things mixed up and just re-used Hitler’s September 1939 report about Polish troops attacking a German radio station in order to justify his invasion.

People forget that Stalin invaded Poland from the East as Hitler blitzed from the West.

Putin just wants to be both thugs in one.

profitsbeard on August 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Reliable sources shouldn’t include Noah Rothman or a great many others who are all too often included in that. CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, and Media Matters

I’ll let you know that I didn’t use any of those sources to confirm the story. Pretty hard to use Rothman as a source: he can’t speak English :)

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

I’ll let you know that I didn’t use any of those sources to confirm the story.

Well CNN did report the Ukrainian use of SS-21 short range ballistic missiles which most other media sources didn’t, so there is that to their credit.

The so-called ‘free press‘ in the west isn’t all that free by their own choice, which I guess would make them pressitutes.

Pretty hard to use Rothman as a source: he can’t speak English :)

dave c on August 4, 2014 at 2:13 PM

We agree on that.

I wish they would hire an actual conservative for the ‘conservative’ website. Preferably one conversant in English.

sharrukin on August 4, 2014 at 2:21 PM