Shortly after Russia admitted that it was moving nuclear-capable rockets to the exclave of Kaliningrad in explicit retaliation for NATO encroachment on its borders, something it had not done until today, another old hotzone has flared up again when moments ago the Russian military reported that Ukranian security operatives have abducted two Russian servicemen in Crimea, and are attempting to press criminal charges against them, the Russian military is reporting.
Moscow considers the kidnapping a “flagrant provocation,” and is demanding the immediate release and return of Maksim Odintsov and Aleksander Baranov to Russia, according to Sputnik.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 21, 2016
“We consider such actions by the Ukrainian security bodies against Russian citizens as another flagrant provocation and demand their immediate return to Russia,” a statement by the ministry’s press service said.
The ministry announced on Monday that the two soldiers were kidnapped on November 20, and taken across the border to the Nikolayev region of Ukraine with an apparent goal of pressing charges against them. They also expressed concern that authorities may use psychological and physical torture to coerce the two men into falsely confessing to crimes against Ukraine.
Crimea has long been a geopolitical “hotspot” ever since the Ukraine presidential coup, which resulted in a proxy civil war in the Donbas region and resulted in Crimea rejoining Russia after a 2014 referendum, one which however has not been accepted by western states, many of which still consider Crimea part of the Ukraine, even if they tacitly admit that it is now part of Russia.
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