Ukraine’s Armed Forces ready for escalation in occupied Luhansk

“If there will be an escalation, we will react adequately. We are prepared for this and monitor the situation,” said Ukraine’s Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak
17:52, 22 November 2017

Noah Brooks

The Armed Forces of Ukraine are ready for aggravation of the situation on the front line in Luhansk sector. In case of an escalation they will act adequately. This was reported to journalists by the Defense Minister of Ukraine Stepan Poltorak on air of 112 Ukraine TV channel.

"In Luhansk, once again, one criminal group is being changed for another. Regarding Ukrainian Armed Forces: we are ready for the changes of the situation, aggravation in Luhansk area. If there is an escalation, we will act adequately, we are ready for this, we are monitoring the situation," he said.

As it was reported earlier Russia-made armoured vehicles crossed the militant-held section of Ukraine’s state border and entered Luhansk; it took place on Krasnodon district of Luhansk region, where Ukraine’s border guards have no access to the border line.

Users of social networks uploaded videos with Russian tanks on the city’s streets on Tuesday – the same day when well-armed masked fighters appeared in Luhansk.

Related: OSCE records column of military equipment drivivng to Luhansk

Given the unstable situation in Luhansk, President Petro Poroshenko called the urgent session of the National Security and Defence Council. ‘The Ukrainian Armed Forces are ready for any scenario and ready to protect peaceful civilians – in the view of the growing number of Russian troops and the recent activity of pro-Kremlin mercenaries,’ he said.  

Interior Ministry of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic claimed detention of Ukrainian saboteurs; they allegedly ‘infiltrated the territory of the LPR and planned terrorist acts’ there.

However, it appeared to be a serious internal face-off: local users of social networks reported presence of well-armed men without insignia in the downtown Luhansk; ‘the little green men’ they name them – after the Russian troops, which annexed Ukrainian Crimea in 2014. The ‘guests’ arrived and occupied the city centre so fast many locals did not even understand what was going on. Some even assumed these could be the disguised ‘Ukrainian troops’.

Related: Ukrainian Army on high alert, monitors situation in Luhansk

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