Canada’s delegation to NATO on Wednesday posted a helpful guide for Russian soldiers who have crossed the Ukrainian border “by accident.”
On Twitter, the delegation posted a simple map of “Russia” and “Not Russia.”
“Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & ‘accidentally’ entering,” the delegation wrote along with the map.
Twice in the past three days, Ukraine has accused Russian soldiers of crossing the border and fighting alongside pro-Russian rebels in southeastern Ukraine. Ukraine’s state security service said Monday it detained 10 Russian paratroopers who crossed into Ukrainian territory. But a Russian defence ministry source said the soldiers crossed “most likely by accident,” according to Reuters.
And on Wednesday, Ukraine’s military accused more Russian soldiers of crossing the border, saying a group of Russian paratroopers entered through the small town of Amvrosiyivka in five armoured infantry carriers and a truck.
Ukraine released video of the soldiers it detained on Monday. It is considered the strongest evidence to back Ukraine, NATO, and the West’s claims that Moscow is intervening directly in southeast Ukraine.
And according to a translation from Interpreter Magazine, the soldiers did know where they were going.
“Do you know that you are now illegally on the territory of Ukraine?” the interrogator asks.
“I guessed,” the soldier said, “but I realised it when they began to bomb us.”
“Ah-ha. How did you end up on Ukrainian territory?”
“We went in convoys. Not on the roads but through the fields. I didn’t even see when we crossed the border.”
“But did you know you were going to Ukraine?”
“We knew,” the Russian paratrooper confirmed.
The Canadian delegation’s map also notably still includes the region of Crimea — which was formally annexed by Russia in March — as part of Ukraine. The West has refused to recognise and has condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the U.S. and E.U. have imposed sanctions, but there’s not much more they can or want to practically do about it.
About a month after Russia annexed Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted he had sent in Russian forces to support local defence teams in the region while fighting raged. He said the troops were deployed to protect Russian-speaking citizens in Crimea.
“Of course we had our servicemen behind the self-defence units of Crimea,” Putin said during an annual televised call-in with the nation in April. “We had to make sure what is happening now in eastern Ukraine didn’t happen there.”
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