Fighting escalates in eastern Ukraine
April 13, 2021 - The war in eastern Ukraine has escalated sharply with fighting across the so-called Line of Contact in the Donetsk region, amid a Russian military build-up along Ukraine’s border.
On Friday (April 9), the Kremlin made a stark warning that it would prevent Ukraine from using force to try to retake separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine, where many residents have Russian citizenship.
Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in eastern Ukraine since the Kremlin annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of sending in troops, tanks, and missiles to help the separatists -- accusations that Moscow has denied.
Video footage on social media shows Russian 2S4 Tyulpan self-propelled 240-mm mortars moving toward the border with Ukraine. The 2S4 is capable of hitting targets at a distance of about 20km.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia is free to deploy its troops wherever it wants on its territory.
“The Kremlin has fears that a civil war could resume in Ukraine. And if a civil war, a full-scale military action, resumes near our borders that would threaten the Russian Federation’s security,” Peskov said.
Two U.S. Navy warships -- believed to be the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Roosevelt -- will arrive in the Black Sea on April 14-15.
- Kremlin says it fears full-scale fighting in Ukraine’s east (Associated Press)
- Ukraine says Putin snubs Russian troop build-up talks, Moscow lashes U.S (Reuters)
- Turkey Confirms U.S. Destroyers Are Headed For The Black Sea Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis (The Warzone)
- Russia -- 2S4 Tyulpan loaded for transport (YouTube)
- Inside the Kremlin's military build-up along the Ukraine border (Sky News)