Ukrainian Tank being transported
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he has evidence that Russia is gathering tanks on the border, 11 miles from Ukraine.
- Ukraine says that it is under threat of a “full-scale war” with Russia after Russia fired at and captured three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors in the Azov Sea on Sunday.
- Ukraine has introduced martial law in 10 regions in response, though Poroshenko said he will be restrained in his use of its powers.
- The country has banned Russian men aged between 16 and 60 from entering Ukraine so they can’t form “private armies.”
- Russia has been condemned internationally, and the EU announced on Friday that it would introduce new sanctions.
Ukraine’s president has said that Russia is gathering tanks on its border as the conflict between the two countries escalates and Ukraine activates its sweeping martial law powers to “protect” its border.
President Petro Poroshenko told Sky News that he has evidence that Russian military tanks are amassing along the country’s border.
He said that Russia has a tank base 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Ukraine’s border, where it also stores ammunition. “This is the same warehouse where they have their ammunition, the same where they have multi-rocket launch systems,” he said.
“We have to put pressure to bring Russia back to a civilized world. Because this is a disaster, this is a great threat to global security … This is a problem not only for Ukraine.”
Poroshenko’s interview comes after he said Ukraine is under threat of a ‘”full-scale war” with Russia after Russia fired at and captured three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors in the Azov Sea on Sunday.
Russia’s military has announced plans to move more anti-aircraft missiles into Crimea. Separately, Ukraine has implemented 30 days of martial law in parts of the country – though Poroshenko pledged that the laws would not affect citizens and would only be introduced in the event of “Russian military aggression.”
Ukraine said on Monday that it will not allow Russian men aged 16-60 into the country under martial law, except under “humanitarian” cases. Ukraine said that this measure would prevent members of the Russian army entering Ukraine and forming “private armies.”
Poroshenko said the Russian army tried similar tactics in 2014, when pro-Russian militants declared revolutions in two eastern provinces and Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula.
Martial law grants the government sweeping powers to ban protests, detain foreigners, seize private property, censor the media, and stop elections, but Poroshenko said on Friday that “civilians will not be affected by the introduction of martial law.”
“We will use its capabilities to strengthen the Armed Forces in rebuffing Russian aggression,” he said.
Poroshenko also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has found himself “in total isolation” after US President Donald Trump announced that he would cancel his meeting with the Russian leader at this week’s G20 summit unless Putin released the Ukrainian soldiers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also condemned what he called the “aggressive Russian action.”
The European Union will extend its existing economic sanctions on Russia in December in light of the recent conflict, European Council President Donald Tusk said at the G20 summit Friday,Reuters reported.