On September 3 the U.S. Navy issued a press release announcing the guided missile destroyer USS Ross was headed to the Black Sea.
The release also said, “The U.S. Navy maintains an enduring commitment to forward-presence throughout the region in order to have forces readily available if a crisis were to occur.”
According to The Washington Times, the U.S. has been in talks with its NATO allies about how to best respond to reports of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine. The troops are believed to have entered the country to “[help] pro-Russian separatists fight the Ukrainian government.”
On March 18 Russian President Vladimir Putin “signed treaties…to annex [Ukraine’s] Crimea” region to Russia. The Wall Street Journal reported that Putin did this after giving “a fiery speech” that focused on “Russia’s past glories.”
Putin also used the speech to “offer reassurances that the Kremlin [had] no further designs on Ukrainian territory.”
That same day, Breitbart News reported that Russian troops surrounded and attacked Ukrainian troops at a base in Crimea. According to The Jerusalem Post, the attack came after Putin signed the annexation treaties. Ukrainian troops said their position was “stormed” by Russian forces who demanded their surrender.
On April 16 a Ukrainian National Guard installation on the port of Mariupol came under attack. The AP reported that the attack was carried out by approximately 300 people who were “armed with stun grenades and firebombs.” Russian President Vladimir Putin denied Russian involvement in the attack.
Mariupol sits on the Sea of Azov, “a northern extension of the Black Sea…on the southern coastlines of Russia and Ukraine.”
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia continued throughout the summer and on September 1 Breitbart News reported the parallels between Poland in September 1939 and Ukraine in September 2014. Particularly the parallels that are visible when one contrasts the conflict between Ukraine and Russia–including Putin’s Crimean annexation arguments–with the conflict that existed between Poland and Germany in 1939–including Adolf Hitler’s arguments for conquering Poland.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.