'Russian tanks are massing at the border,' Ukraine's President Poroshenko warns

Posted December 01, 2018

Ukraine said on Monday that it will not allow Russian men aged 16-60 into the country under martial law, except under "humanitarian" cases.

In an interview published earlier Thursday with the German daily Bild, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko laid out his hope that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation would "relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security" against Putin's expansionist ambitions.

Ukraine put its forces on alert and imposed martial law in its border regions after the sea confrontation last Sunday, which was the first open military confrontation between Kiev and Moscow since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Ukraine announced on Friday that it was restricting entry into the country, barring male Russian nationals between the ages of 16 and 60.

"Our superiors stopped our moving and patrolling because of the situation", said Nosenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian navy.

President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine risked “full-scale war with Russia”
President Petro Poroshenko said Ukraine risked “full-scale war with Russia”

"As far as Ukraine is concerned - not the state itself, but mostly Pyotr Poroshenko, who is now ruling the country - it is just horrifying to talk about tit-for-tat responses", Zakharova said.

On Sunday, November 25, two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug were sailing into the Kerch Strait of the Crimean peninsula, the only route for ships to enter the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea.

Western powers have rallied round Ukrainian leader Pyotr Poroshenko in the wake of the incident in the region annexed by Russian Federation in 2014.

He said the Ukrainian ships had entered Russian territorial waters and refused to respond to requests to stop from Russian patrol boats.

Trump said he was cancelling the meeting scheduled for this weekend at the G20 summit in Argentina over Russia's recent seizure of the Ukrainian vessels.

More news: Closing GM’s Oshawa plant puts 15K Canadian auto parts jobs at risk

"These are measures to block the Russian Federation from forming detachments of private armies here, which in fact are representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation", Poroshenko said.

Ukraine's navy here has been told to stay in port, at a heightened state of readiness, in a bid to not further aggravate the Russian military who appear to have free rein in the Sea of Azov, all the way down to the Kerch Strait.

For his part, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned that there is a threat of a full-blown war with Russian Federation.

Russian military officials said Wednesday that Moscow would soon deploy more of its advanced S-400 air defence systems in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

Putin accused Poroshenko of provoking the naval incident in a bid to impose martial law to shore up his sagging popularity and sideline competitors ahead of a presidential election in March.

More news: Video shows how Sawmill Fire started

The Kremlin, the resolution reads, must "immediately release all Ukrainian crew members and vessels and to cease its harassment of Ukrainian and worldwide shipping transiting the Kerch Strait".

But the incident has prompted renewed calls for more Western sanctions on Russian Federation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she's not backing off plans for a joint pipeline with Russia, but is pledging to ensure Ukraine remains a transit country for Russian natural gas.

The announcement follows Thursday's decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to scrap the much-anticipated meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. REUTERS/Alla Dmitrieva A Ukrainian sailor, second right, is escorted by Russian intelligence agency FSB officers from a court in Simferopol, Crimea, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018.

The peninsula existed as a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine, with political bonds to Kyiv but strong cultural ties to Moscow.

More news: Barcelona's possible Champions League last 16 opponents

Map locating the Kerch Strait bridge that links Crimea to Russian Federation.