Putin Slams Ukraine Attack on Slovyansk, Threatens ‘Consequences’

Russian Troops on Maneuvers Along Tense Border

Russian President Vladimir Putin declared the Ukrainian military’s attack on the city of Slovyansk a “grave crime” today, saying it was unacceptable for a nation to use its army against its own people, and warning of consequences if the attacks continue.

The attack killed five protesters, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, which dubbed all the slain “terrorists,” a term it is using to refer to the mostly ethnic Russian protesters seeking autonomy throughout the east.

That they are ethnic Russians is no small matter, as Russia insists it will not stand by and allow its citizens to be killed anywhere, let alone in the area along its own border.

The Russian military is emphasizing that point, as it ramps up military exercises just across the border, leaving 40,000 Russian troops just a stone’s throw away from the protester cities, and fueling concerns that the situation could quickly escalate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.