“Very dangerous game”: how Moscow will respond to the actions of saboteurs to Crimea

Border control at the checkpoint “Armyansk” the Russian-Ukrainian border. August 2014

Fighting with the commandos

Wednesday, August 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the Ukrainian government after FSB reported on the prevention of a terrorist attack in the Crimea. The attack, according to the report on the website of the FSB, was prepared by the Main intelligence Directorate of the defense Ministry of Ukraine. During the shooting killed an FSB officer and Russian soldier.

According to Putin, the Ukrainian authorities turned to terror instead of looking for ways of solving problems in the negotiations. “The Russian side has losses, killed two soldiers. We, of course, by such things to pass will not. I would like to ask our American and European partners. I think is obvious to everyone that the Kiev authorities are not looking for a way to solve problems in the negotiations, and move to terror. This is a very disturbing thing,” Putin said following a press conference with President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

The FSB noted that the group of saboteurs was discovered in the city of Armyansk on the night of 6 to 7 August. It was then, and there was a shootout which killed the employee of FSB. On the ground fighting Russian security forces found 20 improvised explosive devices with total capacity of more than 40 kg of TNT, ammunition and special means of initiation”, and antipersonnel and magnetic mines, grenades, and special weapons. It is, as explained in FSB is in service with special units of the Ukrainian army.

On the night of 8 August, the special unit of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine, as speak in FSB, has taken two attempts of a breakthrough sabotage and terrorist groups, however, Russian security forces prevented them. Attempt to break, say the FSB, “was covered by massive attack from the neighboring States and armored vehicles of the Armed forces of Ukraine”. During the fighting was killed by the Russian military.

In the end, the report to the FSB on the Peninsula “liquidated intelligence network” Ukrainian intelligence. Persons assisting in the preparation of the attack, was detained. Among them — citizens of Ukraine and Russia, including the inhabitant of the Zaporozhye area, the intelligence officer Eugene gentry was born in 1977. He gives confession, says the FSB.

A local resident who was near the Russian-Ukrainian border in the night of 6 to 7 August, told RBC that the border was closed for several hours. Soldiers stopped a convoy of vehicles EN route from Ukraine to the Crimea, did not explain what caused the stop.

“The Russian newspaper” with reference to the sources writes that the operation began after residents of Armyansk of the FSB reported about “suspicious people in uniform”. “Kommersant” writes that in Armyansk, Dzhankoy, Krasnoperekopsk on the streets there were armed Russian soldiers and armored vehicles, the sky patrolled the helicopter. Residents reported about the mass outage of the Internet in the territory North of the Crimea.

According to the newspaper, on arrival at the venue on the night of August 7, security officers found about 20 people, which was loaded from the secret hiding explosives and weapons. The publication claims that, seeing the FSB, the group immediately opened fire during the RAID, “returning fire, at least one saboteur was killed and several wounded”.

Department of the FSB in the Crimea and Sevastopol opened a criminal case on the fact of what happened. In the Crimea strengthened the protection of critical infrastructure, in addition, increasing border regime on the border with Ukraine.

“Kommersant”, citing a source in law enforcement bodies reported that several Ukrainian saboteurs managed to escape on the territory of Crimea.

Soft measures

“At first glance it would seem that this is a stupid and criminal act. Stupid, because it is impossible to have a positive impact on people living in the Crimea, and the criminal, because people died. But I think the situation is more worrying because any other sense, except to distract their own people from the plight of the economy, from the plight of a significant number of citizens,” Putin said.

Putin said that the Ukrainian authorities “is a very dangerous game,” and assured that Russia will react to the incident. “We will take additional measures to ensure security. It will be a serious additional measures, technical and not only”, — assured the President. What will be Russia’s response to the incident in Crimea, Putin did not specify. He said only about the meaninglessness of the meeting, “Norman Quartet” (Russia, Ukraine, France, Germany) against the backdrop of the arrest of saboteurs in the Crimea.

Vladimir Putin: “Meet in the channel format is meaningless”
Video: RBC

Further participation of Russia in the settlement of the Minsk agreements under such conditions is meaningless, said RBC Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on defense Franz Klintsevich. “All these props that showed Kiev in peace negotiations [with Moscow], today, removed one step”, — said the Senator.

However, Klintsevich suggests that Moscow has so far limited to warning the Ukrainian authorities through diplomatic channels.

I agree with Senator MP from the Communist party, Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on international Affairs Leonid Kalashnikov in his opinion, while the Russian side will be enough to be restricted to official statements. “Suffice it to say that all who attack will be immediately destroyed,” — said Kalashnikov. According to him, intelligence agencies have worked well, and the Peninsula is well protected.

“Russia will hold an open press conference with the detained Ukrainian officer, then he will be court”, — says military expert Viktor Litovkin. Strikes on Ukrainian territory will not be assured Litovkin, because “waiting for the Ukrainian side”. “Poroshenko needs to distract the population from social unrest” — says Litovkin.

The situation in the Donbass will not be aggravated by the initiative of Moscow because of the unwillingness of the Russian military escalation, involves independent military expert Anton Lavrov. “On the border with Eastern Ukraine this year, no field camps to support the separatists,” he says. According to Lavrov, before the delivery of forces, provide reserves on the border.

Lavrov believes that in connection with the attack on the Peninsula is enhanced by the grouping in the Crimea. “On the Kerch ferry are already of the infantry, which will be located on the border with Ukraine,” — he predicts.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s Republic do not believe in the renewal of the escalation of the conflict over the Crimean events. According to Deputy commander of the corps of the defense Ministry Donetsk national Republic Eduard Basurin, the Crimea is a separate territory, “it is not associated with Donetsk”.

As broke the Minsk agreement

The Minsk Protocol (first Minsk agreement) was signed in September 2014, representatives of the OSCE Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, the second President of Ukraine, authorized representative of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma), Russia (Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov and leaders of the self-proclaimed Lugansk Igor Carpenter) and Donetsk (Alexander Zakharchenko) people’s republics. In January 2015, these agreements were almost derailed due to the resumption of hostilities near Donetsk international airport and a military escalation of the conflict.

In February 2015, the same parties after negotiations with the participation of the German Chancellor and the French President signed a package of measures to implement the Minsk agreement (second Minsk agreement). Protocol and a set of measures for its implementation were provided for as a military-technical (the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons) and political (political dialogue, constitutional reform, pardon and Amnesty of prisoners involved in the conflict) aspect of the settlement of the conflict. The second execution of the Minsk agreements wore incomplete. For example, the restoration of full control over the state border by the government of Ukraine throughout the conflict area was not secured. On the other hand, has not been fulfilled and the restoration of the condition of this control — constitutional reform and local elections in certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions on the basis of the law of Ukraine.

Tough measures

Experts and politicians still do not rule out that Russia may not be limited to reaction through diplomatic channels.

Kiev is looking for opportunities in the deterioration of relations with Russia to refuse to implement the agreements Minsk-2″, and then accusing Moscow of aggressive intent, he believes it is close to the Kremlin, head of the Center for political conjuncture Alexei Chesnakov. According to him, Putin gave so hard a political assessment to the Crimean incident that we can not exclude the resumption of hostilities in the South-East of Ukraine — but only if Ukraine did not stop using “the tactic of exporting terrorists,” the expert believes.

One of the possible objects to hit in the case of the use of force against Ukraine will be “training camps Tatar terrorists” on the territory of a neighboring state, says military analyst, member of the Public Council under the Ministry of defense of Russia Igor Korotchenko. “Russia has a legitimate right to self-defence, and she can hit.” [tactical cruise missiles] on the territory of Ukraine,” — says korochenko.

Military analyst Konstantin Sivkov believes that Russia may give green light to volunteers in the East of Ukraine, but to increase further the support of the breakaway republics will not. “There are enough weapons for defense in case of Ukraine”, — said Sivkov.

Eduard basurin of the DPR confirms that in case of a possible escalation of the actions of the Ukrainian group of armies of the breakaway republics will have enough forces and means to deter the attack. According to Korotchenko, Russia is only possible humanitarian support to Donetsk and Luhansk. The military reaction of Russia is possible, but only in the case that the Crimean incident happen again, says the Klintsevich.

Answer Of Ukraine

Ukrainian officials called the events in Crimea, fantasies and provocation by the FSB. “The accusations of the Russian side of Ukraine in terrorism in the occupied Crimea sound as meaningless and cynical, as the statements of the Russian leadership about the absence of Russian troops in the Donbass, — says the statement of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, published on the official website of the Ukrainian President. “These imagination — just an excuse for another military threats against Ukraine”, — commented on the statements by the President of Ukraine.

“This is provocative nonsense, FSB, is a member of the hybrid war waged by Russia against our country,” said Secretary of national security Council and defense Oleksandr Turchynov. He stressed that over the past year, no employee of GRU of the Ministry of defense was detained on the territory of Crimea. This is an attempt to escalate and aggravate the situation in the occupied Ukrainian territories, said Turchinov.

Provocation of the Russians can be used as an excuse “to transport huge quantities of weapons to the Northern regions of the Crimea and the fighting that Russia can begin from the Peninsula”, said RBC Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev.

Ukrainian political analyst Vadim Karasyov sees several factors in the Crimean incident, which he also considers it a provocation. It is, according to the analyst, can be connected with the necessity of mobilization of the electorate before the autumn elections to the state Duma, the desire to force Ukraine to fulfill the Minsk agreements, the dissatisfaction of the refusal of Kiev from the coordination of the candidacy of the new Ambassador of Russia and the upcoming celebration of the 25th anniversary of independence of Ukraine in August, he enumerates. The reaction of Ukraine to the Crimean events will depend on the actions of its allies, experts say.