How a grocery dispute led to artillery strikes in Ukraine – .

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How a grocery dispute led to artillery strikes in Ukraine – .


The battle came at an increasingly volatile time in the conflict. This fall, advertising photos satellites and videos posted on social media showed Russian armored vehicles gathered near the Ukrainian border; Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky estimated the build-up at 100,000 troops. And Russian rhetoric towards Ukraine has hardened.

Amid this heightened tension, the drone strike in particular has become a flashpoint for the Kremlin. Alarmed that Ukraine possesses this highly effective new military capability, Russia called the strike a destabilizing act that violated the ceasefire agreement reached in 2015.

Mr Putin has twice indicated in the past week that the drone attack was a Ukrainian escalation, warranting a possible Russian response. He raised the issue during a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Asked on Saturday about Washington’s accusations that Russia was massing troops on the Ukrainian border, Putin responded by criticizing the United States for supporting the drone strike, as well as for carrying out a naval exercise in the Black Sea, which he called a “serious challenge” for Russia.

“A feeling is created that they just don’t let us relax,” he said. “Well let them know we’re not relaxing. ”

Mr Putin has long made it clear that he sees Ukraine as inseparable from Russia. In July, he published an article describing this doctrine, describing Russia and Ukraine as “essentially” one country divided by Western interference in the post-Soviet period, an apparent justification for Russian-Ukrainian unification. Russia has already annexed the Crimean Peninsula to Ukraine.



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