NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organization will help Ukraine defend itself against Russia and finally admitted Russia considers NATO an enemy after months of heavy tension. NATO also released satellite images that prove Russia did move tanks into Ukraine.
“We must adapt to the fact that Russia now considers us its adversary,” Rasmussen said.
On June 11, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said three Russian tanks moved into Ukraine.
“Tonight, three T-72 tanks crossed Ukraine’s state border from Russia. One tank is in the town of Snizhne. Two other tanks moved out of the town. In the vicinity of Snizhne these tanks were intercepted by Ukrainian troops. The fight is ongoing. There are reports that a Russian T-72 was hit,” said Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.
Dmytro Tymchuk, head of the Information Resistance group, confirmed Avakov’s statement.
“In Ukraine, these tanks were decommissioned from the arsenal of the Armed Forces. However, they are in service with the Russian army. There is also evidence that APCs available to militants in Snizhne were previously captured by Russian soldiers in Crimea at the military units of Ukrainian coastal defense troops,” Tymchuk wrote on his Facebook page.
NATO released satellite images that confirm tanks did move into Ukraine. These images show tanks leaving Rostov-na-Donu.
The imagery shows that on 30 May in Rostov-na-Donu, a Russian unit was deployed, but no tanks were present at the time the image was taken.
Imagery from the 6th of June shows the Russian unit departing, which we believe was part of a Russian announcement to pull troops back from the border region. In the context of this overall withdrawal, 8 main battle tanks are shown to have arrived.
On the 11th of June, 10 main battle tanks can be seen at the site. 3 of these are parked, 4 are in the training area, and 3 are loaded heavy equipment transport trucks that are normally used to move tanks, likely indicating imminent movement by road.
On the 12th of June, Ukrainian officials report that 3 main battle tanks and several armoured vehicles crossed the border at the Dovzhanskyy border crossing, which was under the control of pro-Russian elements of the so-called “People’s Republic of Luhansk.” Sightings of these tanks were later reported in open sources in Snizhne and then Makiivka, near Donetsk. The tanks do not bear markings or camouflage paint like those used by the Ukrainian military. In fact, they do not have markings at all, which is reminiscent of tactics used by Russian elements that were involved in destabilizing Crimea.
After Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in mid-March, NATO and NATO nations expressed concern over sovereignty and national security. Two Russian officials said Moscow is concerned over treatment of ethnic Russians and Russian speakers in Estonia and Latvia, both of which belong to NATO and the European Union. Sweden and Finland were issued severe warnings by Russia since both countries voiced an interest in NATO since Russia, which borders Finland, performed military exercises near the border.
On June 9, Russia said Moscow is prepared to act if NATO increases presence near its borders. In 1997, NATO agreed not to build permanent bases in Eastern Europe if Russia did not violate another country’s sovereignty. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski claims Russia violated this agreement due to aggression towards Ukraine, which includes the Crimea annexation.
Former Georgian Prime Minister and representative to NATO Ambassador Grigol Mgaloblishvili told Breitbart News “that Russia intends to cripple much of Eastern Europe to maintain it in a state of constant chaos.”
“The main objective of Russia is to regain its sphere of influence over the post-Soviet states,” he said. “After violating international law, after invading and occupying territories of European nations and violating the basics principles and consensuses of the post-Cold War order, Moscow has not paid any political price.”