Since August, Russia was reinforcing its positions near the border with Ukraine and now, it is the biggest military threat since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, as Viktor Muzhenko, the Head of the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, said in an interview for Reuters.
“In front of us is an aggressor who has no legal, moral or any other limits. It is very difficult to predict when it will occur to him to begin active combat actions against Ukraine,” he said.
Muzhenko showed some satellite imageries, which demonstrate that Russia’s T-62 M tanks are located 18 kilometers away from the Ukrainian border. According to the Head of the General Staff, the number of these tanks have increased from 93 to 250 from the middle of September till October 1.
He noted that this could be “evidence of a concerted build-up of Russian forces in the run-up to Nov. 25, when Russia fired on and captured three Ukrainian vessels at the Kerch Strait, an action Kiev’s leadership fears may be a precursor to a full-scale invasion”.
“This (the Kerch Strait incident) was an act of aggression from regular forces, the border service (of the Russian Federation) in relation to the Ukrainian armed forces,” Muzhenko said.
Crimea was annexed by Russia by way of the illegal referendum that was held on the peninsula in March 2014. Earlier, the Russian military captured all strategic military objects and buildings of the key authoritative bodies. Neither Ukraine nor the rest of the civilized countries recognized the results of the referendum. A number of the European and the world countries, including Ukraine, imposed the economic sanctions against Russia.
On October 7, 2015, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has signed the relevant law. International organizations recognized the occupation and annexation of Crimea illegal and condemned Russia's actions. Western countries have introduced a series of economic sanctions. Russia denied the occupation of the peninsula and calls it a "restoration of historical justice."