Some may believe World War 3 is approaching as the tensions between Russia and Ukraine intensify in Crimea. Bloomberg reports that Kiev has moved against pro-Russian militants in the Donetsk area, and now Russia’s prime minister says Ukraine is risking civil war.
World War 3: Ukraine blocks off Slovyansk
Military units from Ukraine have cut off all roads leading into Slovyansk, according to Russian state-run media, which cites an unnamed pro-Russian activist. Ukraine reportedly stormed an airport in Kramatorsk as well, injuring two militants and pushing back protesters, according to the media outlet. Ukraine went on the offensive after the battles against separatists became deadly.
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Meanwhile in the West, officials blame Russia for creating the crisis and heightening the tensions in the region. Both the U.S. and the European Union are reportedly talking about increasing sanctions on Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, says they took Crimea “to protect people.”
While some worry about World War 3, others are comparing the tensions in the region to the Cold War, saying that this is the worst standoff since them. NATO reports that Russia has stationed 40,000 troops on the border with Ukraine. Moscow has said it will protect Ukraine’s Russian-speaking citizens with force, if necessary.
World War 3: Some seek Putin’s help
Over the weekend, at least one member of Ukraine’s military was killed during a gun battle with pro-Russians. Activists continue to occupy police stations in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk, Horlivka, Kramatorsk and Mariupol.
On his Facebook page, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev stated, “There’s a sense in the country that a civil war could break out.” He also said eastern Ukrainians have been urging Putin to step into the situation.
Overnight, U.S. President Barack Obama “expressed grave concern” regarding Moscow’s support of pro-Russian separatists. He also appealed to Putin to ask the separatists to withdraw from the Ukrainian buildings that are occupying. Putin, however, told Obama that he should “use the American side’s capabilities to prevent the use of force and bloodshed as much as possible.”