Adding further fuel to the Russia-Ukraine border tensions, Moscow has reportedly stated that it is considering recognising independence of east Ukraine separatist republics.
Russia considering request to recognise east Ukraine separatist republics’ independence, international news agency AFP quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying.
Kremlin is reportedly considering to recognise independence of Russia-backed separatist-controlled provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, collectively known as Donbas region of Ukraine.
Donbas is a Russian-speaking-ethnicity majority region of Ukraine, some of whose territory is occupied by two unrecognized separatist states – the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, after the 2014 Russo-Ukrainian War.
Meanwhile, tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated further on Monday after the Russian army claimed that it killed at least five ‘saboteurs’ from Ukraine.
This latest claim by Russia has fuelled the tensions the Russia-Ukraine border.
“…five people who violated the Russian border from a group of saboteurs were killed,” the Russian military said in a statement.
The incident took place near the village of Mityakinskaya in the Rostov region of Russia at 06:00 am local time on Monday.
Moscow claimed to have destroyed two Ukrainian infantry fighting vehicles that allegedly crossed into Russian territory.
According to Russian media, the Ukrainian ‘sabotage’ group and APCs entered Russian territory near Luhansk.
This Russian claim has been outrightly denied by Ukraine’s interior ministry.
Russia has also said that artillery shelling by Ukraine army has destroyed a Russian border facility.
However, this claim of the Russian army was rubbished by Ukraine.
Ukraine has denied any artillery shelling by its army targeting Russian border facility.
Meanwhile, the United States has warned that Russian invasion of Ukraine can happen any time now.
A US official said that Russian front-line commanders have been given orders to begin final preparations for an attack.