The secessionist protests in Eastern Ukraine and the subsequent Ukraine military takeover of the city of Kharkiv have added dramatically to East-West tensions in the area, and also to rumors and allegations of foreign involvement.
It’s not just unsourced claims from anonymous people, either. Secretary of State John Kerry openly accused Russia of sending “provocateurs” to Donetsk and the other cities and bribing ethnic Russians to protest against the pro-West government.
Kerry’s Russian counterpart similarly claimed that the Ukrainian military offensive against Kharkiv involved “US mercenaries” from the Greystone company, a subsidiary of the notorious Blackwater.
Ukrainian government spokesmen insisted that there were “no US special forces” involved in the Kharkiv operation, which likely intended to be a denial of the Blackwater claim, but was worded in a way that leaves the question open, and the rumors swirling.