Twitter reports in recent days have indicated that attacks have increasingly originated from Russia. A source recently indicated to Kommersant newspaper that Russia was planning “surgical strikes” into Ukraine, saying “Our patience is not boundless,” stressing that “this means not a massive action but exclusively targeted single strikes on positions from which the Russian territory is fired at.” Sentiment for attacks on Ukraine in response for alleged ‘shelling’ was also reciprocated by deputy speaker of Russia’s upper house, Yevgeniy Bushmin. “We should use precision weapons, like Israel, to destroy those who fired [into Russia],” Bushmin was quoted.
The U.S. Department of State says it is ‘confident’ that the Russian government is mobilizing tanks from old stock to the Rostov region, and that tanks, artillery, and multiple rocket launchers have already been delivered to militants in Ukraine – several of which were transferred this past weekend alone. It also says the number of rocket launchers and other equipment has doubled in recent time on the Russian side of the border.
The Abkhazian Network News Agency (ANNA), a heavily pro-Russian news agency that mostly focuses on anti-Ukrainian propaganda (but also interviews and coverage of the militants themselves) also published video of a GRAD attack today at roughly the same time as the other videos. Though its location could not immediately be verified, it does however provide a more up-close look at how these attacks operate up close.
Tag this story #nofilter – over the weekend, social media was atwitter over images purportedly showing a Russian BTR-80 armored personnel carrier being waved through a border checkpoint.
What makes this story more interesting than usual (as dozens of heavy vehicles from Russia have bled through the border in recent weeks) is that the photos were allegedly snapped by the brazen Russian customs agent waving it through – who also thought it a good idea to snap a selfie for good measure.
The Instagram account under the name Artem_Karat (which has now been deleted or deactivate) indicated in its geolocation to be at the Donetsk border post (Donetsk, Russia; adjacent to Luhansk region), and description eluded it to possibly being uploaded by a co-worker (“My job while I’m on vacation”). Hashtags or the images included (translated for convenience): #Customs, #Border, #Putin, #Luhansk, #RostovOblast, #War, and #RussianFederation.
National Security and Defence Council (RNBO) spokesman Andriy Lysenko told reporters today that Russian military had entered 3km into Luhansk region, which he suspected was to establish a corridor into the region for mercenaries and equipment to pass. Troop movements were said to have traversed the village of Heyivka, in Stanytsia-Luhanska county, north of Luhansk city which remains occupied by Russian-backed militants. Lysenko’s account has not been independently verified at this time.
A public organization claiming to have eyewitness accounts verified to UNIAN the presence of troop movements elsewhere in Luhansk region, saying that a large column of personnel transports, armored vehicles and tanks flying Russian Federation flags and bearing the markings of the Russian armed forces passed through Sukhodilsk, dividing en route to Luhansk city in the north or to either Sverdlovsk or Izvaryne in the south – Ukrainian forces had recently retaken the Izvaryne border checkpoint.
Representatives of self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s republics signed a joint document at a session of its Supreme Soviet, declaring the “Constitutional Act of the confederal merger of the DRP and LPR into a Union of People’s Republics.” Separatist leaders announced that their republics will be rebranded “People’s Union Republics,” acting in a new Soviet-styled “Union of People’s Republics.” The two ‘Union Republics’ would then form what they call “New Russia.”
“Today members of the DPR Supreme Council voted for a single constitution of New Russia. It means that the DPR and LPR will share the same constitution,” prime minister of the Donetsk Republic, Alexander Borodai, said. Borodai is a Russian citizen with ties to anti-semitic organizations.