Yesterday, we noted in our daily Watch List that there are some indications the Russians might be building up their forces east of Ukraine. Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly warned Ukraine. He declared that Ukraine is engaging in terrorism and that the recent deaths of two Russian servicemen will not be ignored. The recent escalation in tensions on the ground, coupled with Putin’s warning to Ukraine, signal that either Russia is preparing to take action in Ukraine, or that the Kremlin is engaging in a high-stakes bluff to enhance its negotiating position when it comes to Ukraine’s future status. At this juncture, it is impossible to ascertain whether Putin is bluffing. As a result, assessing Russia’s goals and closely watching developments on the ground are key.
Speculation regarding potential Russian military moves in Ukraine over the past few days began when the Luhansk People’s Republic put its forces on full combat readiness after an alleged assassinati
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