Despite all the protests to the contrary, there are indeed Russian troops operating alongside rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine. The exact number is difficult to determine but there are several thousand, with some estimates as high as 15,000 or more. While they arrive across the border from Russia in unmarked tanks, armoured carriers, and modern trucks, it is clear that they are part of organized operations to assist Russian rebels in the dismembering of Ukraine.
Russian president Vladimir Putin left the G20 Summit in Australia early after encountering strong criticisms from his world counterparts. In typical fashion, he denied the presence of Russian troops in Ukraine, just as he had at first denied any Russian military presence in Moldova, Georgia and Crimea. However, the denial act is just that, an act, and it is getting a bit old. Nobody is fooled anymore, except perhaps those who would rather fool themselves.
When Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper greeted Mr. Putin at the G20, he reluctantly said,“Well I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine,” Harper’s spokeperson Jason MacDonald confirmed that the Canadian PM had only reluctantly extended a handshake to the Russian leader.
In that spirit, the British Embassy in Kyiv (Kiev) tweeted a handy guide on how to spot which tanks belong to the Russian army. The tweet was a jab at the Kremlin, and rightly so. The hashtag read “Putin still denying
#Russia’s troops & hardware are in #Ukraine. Here’s a guide to help the #Kremlin spot its tanks:
Even with hundreds of videos posted on UStream,YouTube, RUTube and other social media sites such as vkontake, the Kremlin seems to think that if they deny their military presence in Ukraine long enough, at some point the world will accept a lie as truth. Nothing could be further from reality.
Here is a civilian video recording of an unmarked Russian military convoy entering the Ukrainian city of Donetsk on the first of November:
The presence of organized Russian troops in Ukraine has continually escalated since this past summer. This video was filmed by Ukrainian civilians riding a public transit trolleybus near Luhansk:
Will we see a further push by Russia to establish a land-bridge to Crimea by carving up more Ukrainian territory?
Only time will tell.