Late last week, the UK announced that they would be deploying more ground forces to aid the Ukrainian government as well as bulking up the naval defenses in the Black Sea. This would include deploying a Royal Navy ship to the area to “defend Ukrainian sovereignty” and their territorial waters.
The problem with countries like the UK, the US and their proxies like Ukraine talk about deployments like this is conflict zones is the lines marking “friendly” and “hostile territory are often confusing. This is true of Ukraine both on land, where the west refuses to recognize the Crimean Peninsula as Russian territory, and in the waters around Ukraine where NATO ships often antagonize Russian craft and blame Moscow.
This has now happened again in an even larger fashion than normal when, on Sunday, Ukrainian ships, likely emboldened by the renewed western support, moved into Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Azov.
The latest incident took place late on Sunday night in local time, when three Ukrainian ships including The Berdiansk were fired on by Russian security forces and then boarded by Russian forces, supposedly unprovoked. However, Russia is already arguing this allegation, saying the Ukrainian military ships had illegally entered Russian waters.
While it is unlikely we will ever know who is telling the truth, much like every incident that has a NATO and a Russian side to it, we do know that this direct clash between Russian and Ukrainian forces is a new escalation in the simmering conflict between NATO and Russia over Ukraine.
It is unclear what exactly would drive Russia to make such an aggressive move though since Moscow knows very well that any direct attack on Kiev’s forces with the official elements of Russian defense could lead to a wider European conflict. Ukraine, on the other hand, happened to be making preparations for another move at the same time they were allegedly not violating Russian waters.
This other front opened by Kiev’s forces almost simultaneously was in the ground war in the eastern regions of Ukraine.
On the same day, Russia was capturing Kiev’s vessels, Ukrainian forces also launched a heavy artillery barrage on the Donbass region. Among the targets hit by this latest Ukrainian barrage were multiple residential buildings, which are often among Kiev’s targets in the east.
The Donbass region plays host to tons of offensives similar to this one, but they are often ignored by western media because the Russian speaking civilians don’t help Washington’s propaganda, However the people of the Donbass are very familiar with these kinds of attacks and expect them to increase as more missiles continue to be promised to Kiev, including some polish weapons set to be delivered later this week.
Both of these incidents show that NATO’s plans to spark full-blown war in Ukraine have not been called off. With the decline of imperialist plans in Syria, it is no surprise more weapons are being sent to Ukraine to attempt to apply more pressure on Moscow through Kiev rather than Damascus.
This move could have dangerous repercussions, even more so that in Syria, because any full war over Ukraine could much more easily become a wider European war. Ukraine is desperate to appease, and like join, NATO and the western capitals are more than happy to allow Kiev to take the brunt of the damage in any conflict to make this possible.
Kiev seems willing to oblige NATO, already proposing the implementation of martial law as a response to the supposed Russian attack. It is unclear how the addition of more military personnel into areas of Ukraine under Kiev’s control would help tackle problems with Russia, it would allow the government of Petro Poroshenko a chance to secure power by canceling elections as long as the law is suspended.
So far, Russia seems to be the only one attempting to avoid this potentially deadly outcome, calling for an emergency UN Security Council meeting to resolve disputes over waters around Ukraine. While it is likely Russia will get their session in New York, it is unlikely the west will make any real attempts at finding a peaceful outcome if the last few years of Ukraine negotiations are any indication of a pattern.