Ukraine Captures 10 Russian Soldiers on Border

Captured Soldiers Loom Large Over Minsk Talks

Tensions between Ukraine and Russia ratcheted up dramatically today with the report of the Ukrainian government capturing 10 Russian soldiers along the border. The soldiers, according to a defense ministry statement, accidentally crossed the unmarked border by accident.

Russian officials say the crossing was a mistake, and that the soldiers did not resist their arrest for the border violation. The fate of the soldiers will likely be a major topic of discussion for the new talks between Presidents Poroshenko and Putin in Minsk.

It will also add to Ukraine’s hysterical proclamations of a Russian “invasion,” after last week’s sending of a large number of trucks with humanitarian aid to Luhansk. Already, the Ukrainian officials say that the soldiers must’ve been there on some “special mission” to undermine Ukrainian sovereignty.

Ukraine is engaged in a war against ethnic Russian secessionists in eastern Ukraine, along the Russian border, and Russia has been pushing for a ceasefire. Ukraine has repeatedly accused Russia of being behind the rebellion.

Those Ukrainian stories have often included claims of columns of Russian tanks appearing out of nowhere, and in one case of Ukraine’s own military destroying a massive column of invading Russian vehicles, vehicles which were never seen, nor reported missing by Russia.

In eastern Ukraine what is going on is often as uncertain as why, with official rhetoric changing and often internally contradicting. The armored column Ukraine “destroyed” not only stopped being part of the official story, Ukraine incredibly claimed they’d never reported such an incident in the first place.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.