Prediction: Russia Will Move Into E. Ukraine Soon
Dmitry Tymchuk, who is a very partisan Ukrainian, but who *seems* to have access to good information about what is going on along the east Ukrainian frontier, reports Russian troop concentrations in east Ukraine (see earlier post). Commentors on Tymchuk’s latest post from that area report that after dark today four Russian helicopters flew over Melitopol (outside Crime, SE Ukraine) and that at 22:10 local time (3:00 pm EST) what was probably a Russian fighter aircraft flew over at low altitude. These would be clear violations of Ukrainian airspace.
Tymchuk also reports that during the day four batteries of theRussian “elite anti-aircraft division C-300” crossed into Crimea over the Kerch peninsula, along with supporting equipment. Russia continues to reinforce its units in the Crimea.
“Delo in Kiev reports:
In Crimea Russian troops continue attempts to “storm” remaining Ukrainian military posts, without use of firearms. In some areas snipers are stationed on top of buildings around Ukrainian posts and bases. Russians are demanding Ukrainian units lay down their arms and some are doing so.
Russian troops attempted to cross the Arabatskaia spit from Crimea into the Ukrainian province of Kherson but were blocked by Ukrainian forces including an air mobile battalion. Reports, however, seem to conflict, as many news outlets claim that Russian troops backed by armor and helicopter gunships seized an important natural gas distribution “plant” in the same area.
The combination of Russian troop movements along the east Ukrainian border with attempts to seize the crossings out of Crimea into the Ukrainian province of Kherson, which Tymchuk calls “the window into east Ukraine” suggest the threat of a Russian military offensive from the south and east aimed at cutting off Donetsk and Lugansk and Ukrainian forces stationed there from Ukraine to the west.
Russian paratroopers seized