Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 09.02.2018
Russia attacked Ukraine across the border. In the first incident of blatantly international warfare since the “Christmas ceasefire,” Russian gunmen launched an attack with light infantry weapons across the Ukraine-Russia border from Ushakovka, Rostov region, Russia. The attack occurred at 12:30 p.m. on February 8. The Russians fired upon Ukrainian servicemen who provide protection to the state border of Ukraine. The attack occurred on Day 1,449 of Russia’s invasion of Europe in Crimea and Donbas.
On the Ukrainian side of the border from Ushakovka, Russia is Luhansk region. A scant 100 metres to the west of the Ukraine-Russia border at Ushakovka is the Derkul River. Ushakovka is 40 kilometres due north-east of the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk. It is 26 kilometres on the same line from the battlefront between Russian invaders of Donbas and Ukrainian defenders, that lies on the Siverskyi Donets River at Stanytsia Luhanska.
The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine reported that the small arms fire directed at Ukrainian border guards was intended to provoke an armed response to blame Ukraine for an international incident. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine refrained from shooting back across the international border at their Russian attackers. Ukrainians showed the same forbearance when the Russians were shelling across the border during the attacks in 2014, the first year of Putin’s invasion. For some reason, Russian territory is shielded by a sovereign impunity which Ukrainian territory does not enjoy.
Russia’s attack from Ushakovka, Russia against Ukraine is a serious international incident: it is an act of war. There must be consequences for what Russia did on the border at Ushakovka on February 8. If there are no consequences for Russia’s act of international warfare, then Ukraine is not secure, Europe is not secure, and the West is not secure.