- Russia Repeats Claim That Ukraine Is Preparing A ‘Provocation’
by https://www.rferl.org/, 24 Dec 2018
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has said “it is quite possible” that Ukraine “might switch to full-scale combat actions within the next few days.” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the statements in Moscow on December 24, repeating claims by Russian officials predicting a “provocation” by Kyiv in the near future.
The unsubstantiated claims come at a time of high tensions between the two countries since Russia seized three Ukrainian Navy ships and their crews near the Kerch Strait on November 25. The United States and the European Union have denounced that action and called on Russia to release the vessels and seamen immediately.
“Apart from a ground operation, Kyiv is also mulling other option to increase tensions in the region and extend martial law,” Zakharova said. “We are really concerned about increasingly more frequent reports by ‘experts’ in Ukrainian media outlets on the possible use of chemical-warfare agents by [Russia-backed militants in eastern Ukraine].”
“This circumstance gives grounds to presume that the strategists in Kyiv have thoroughly analyzed the record of their foreign supervisors in staging provocations involving the use of weapons of mass destruction and are ready to put them into practice.”