Start Europe President Putin speaks of „provocation of the current government in Kiev“

President Putin speaks of „provocation of the current government in Kiev“

Russia's President Vladimir Putin waits for Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta prior to a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. The threat of missiles over the Mediterranean is weighing on world leaders meeting on the shores of the Baltic this week, and eclipsing economic battles that usually dominate when the G-20 world economies meet. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky, Pool)

For Vladimir Putin it is clear: „This was a provocation, organized by the current government in Kiev. I believe, also from the President, in the run-up to the presidential elections in March next year. The polls see President Poroshenko in fifth place, I believe. So they had to do something to make the situation worse. “

Putin spoke in Moscow in the afternoon. He claimed that the crews of the three Ukrainian naval ships had not responded to the speech of the Russian border guards. Whether this is true, is not to check for journalists, because it lacks access to radio communications or documents. Putin did not mention the 2003 agreement, in which Ukraine and Russia pledged unimpeded shipping in the Sea of ​​Azov. Russia has never resigned from this agreement, but now acts contrary to it.

The Russian border guards would still have acted properly, said Putin. „They have fulfilled their legal duty to protect the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.“
A border violation was the maneuvers of Ukrainians, however, only if the annexation of Crimea is considered legal. Putin adds that the Russian and Ukrainian people are still close to each other. This and other sentences can be read as an attempt to calm the situation.

Escalation could have been unintentional

He did not respond to unanswered questions: Why did the Russian border guards fire, although no fire came from the Ukrainian ships? Why were their ships boarded by the Russians only after they were already on their way back? And finally, there are several pictures showing a damaged Russian ship. It was probably another, also Russian ship rammed. This suggests that the surgery on Sunday did not happen without complications. That, some Russian commentators suspect, may be one reason why Putin expressed himself late: an escalation was perhaps not intended, and the Kremlin had first waited for where the debate, including international, had developed.

The 24 appointed seamen are in remand until the end of January. They then face trials and up to six years imprisonment. In the private, non-governmental station Doschd countered lawyer Edem Semeldjajew suspicions that the detainees, including his client would be threatened, possibly tortured: „The arrest was very hard, but then no physical pressure on my client exercised.“

Three of the detainees allegedly wounded when the Russians attacked were not allowed to choose their lawyers themselves. How seriously they are wounded is unclear. Again, there are no independent sources.
The Russian military confirmed to strengthen the air defense of Crimea with an additional unit of missile defense S-400. It is one of the most sophisticated weapon systems in the army. Yesterday, Ukrainian President Poroshenko said that Russia is gathering troops on the border between the two countries. He did not present evidence for that.