Officials warn of more Russian aggression
SIMFEROPOL, Crimea — American and Ukrainian officials warned on Sunday that Russia might be poised to expand its territorial conquest into eastern Ukraine and beyond, with a senior NATO official saying that Moscow might order its troops to cross Ukraine to reach Moldova.
The warnings were made as Russia was finalizing its takeover of Ukrainian military bases in Crimea, the peninsula it occupied at the start of March and subsequently annexed.
“We don't know what (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has in his mind and what will be his decision,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsya said on ABC's “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “That's why this situation is becoming even more explosive than it used to be a week ago.”
In Brussels, Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Europe, said Russia had assembled a large force on Ukraine's eastern border that could be planning to head for Moldova's separatist Transnistria region, 200 miles away.
Ukrainian officials have been warning for weeks that Russia is trying to provoke a conflict in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia denies. But Breedlove said Russian ambitions do not stop there.
“There is absolutely sufficient force postured on the eastern border of Ukraine to run to Transnistria if the decision was made to do that, and that is very worrisome,” he said.
Meanwhile, three Ukrainian military officers were missing and believed to be held by Russian forces, a Ukrainian official said, as the Russians continued to seek full control of the peninsula's military sites.
And navy Capt. V. M. Demyanenko, was taken by the Russians in Sevastopol on Sunday morning and his whereabouts remained unknown by evening.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pope Francis visits mosque in war-torn Central African Republic, calls for end to conflict
- World leaders show willingness to act at climate change summit
- After U.S. indictments, Chinese military scalesc back hacks on American industry
- Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion law ‘breaches human rights,’ court rules
- Burned-out van belonged to missing Australians, Mexican prosecutors say
- Israeli court convicts two Jewish teenagers in 2014 killing of Palestinian youth
- Boko Haram destroys Nigerian military base; 107 troops MIA
- Obama: Climate pact an ‘act of defiance’ after Paris attacks
- Senators call for 20,000 more troops in Syria and Iraq
- In Paris, nations, investors to pledge billions for climate change research
- Russia’s crackdown in predominantly Muslim region fuels exodus to ISIS