Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have increased sharply along the de facto Crimea-Ukraine border in recent days. The elevated tensions follow a statement from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) on 10 August, alleging that two Russian security forces personnel were killed, in separate clashes with gunmen attempting to enter Crimea from mainland Ukraine on 7, 8 and 9 August. The FSB maintains that the gunmen were connected to the Ukrainian military.
Following the reported incidents on 7 August, Russia deployed an undisclosed number of troops and heavy weaponry in northern parts of Crimea on 8 August. Media reports have also indicated that military checkpoints have been erected in northern Crimea by Russian forces since 8 August. Following the FSB’s statement, Ukrainian president, Petro Poroshenko, placed troops on combat alert in the de facto border region, as well as along the line of contact between the Ukrainian military and pro-Russia separatist militants, in the south eastern Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, on 11 August.