It has been a busy morning: following a substantial surge in Ukraine separatist activity in the past 24 hours, which saw them capture the strategic Sea of Azov port town of Novoazovsk, a move which the NYT classified as "Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front", Ukraine has turned on the disinformation spigot to max resulting in a constant verbal, and headline, diarrhea as follows:
- POROSHENKO CONVENES SECURITY COUNCIL ON RUSSIAN `INVASION'
- POROSHENKO: SITUATION IN UKRAINE'S EAST DETERIORATED SHARPLY
- UKRAINE EU AMBASSADOR CALLS FOR JOINT EFFORT TO `STOP THIS WAR'
- POROSHENKO SAYS SECURITY COUNCIL WILL DRAW UP FURTHER PLANS
- RUSSIAN ARMY CONTROLS NOVOAZOVSK: UKRAINE SECURITY COUNCIL
- YATSENYUK URGES UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO DEBATE UKRAINE SITUATION
So sure was Ukraine that this time (unlike all those previous disinformation launches) Russia has invaded that Anton Herashchenko, adviser to Ukrainian Interior Ministry, actually commented on his Facebook page saying "Invasion of regular Russian army of Putin to Ukraine is an accomplished fact,” Adding that Putin "de-facto places Ukraine on a war-footing at a time when a decree was signed to dissolve parliament."
Well, yes, Ukraine has no government, but Russia of course denied all of it:
- PESKOV WON'T COMMENT ON REBEL CLAIM OF RUSSIAN TROOP SUPPORT
All of this latest disinformation propaganda was summarized by Reuters best:
Ukraine accused Russia on Thursday of mounting an invasion in the southeast of the country in support of pro-Moscow separatist rebels. Ukraine's security and defense council said the border town of Novoazovsk and other parts of Ukraine's south-east had fallen under the control of Russian forces who together with rebels were staging a counter-offensive.
"A counter-offensive by Russian troops and separatist units is continuing in south-east Ukraine," the council said in a post on Twitter.
President Petro Poroshenko, in a statement explaining his decision to cancel a visit to Turkey, said: "An invasion of Russian forces has taken place."
Russia denies intervening in Ukraine by arming the rebels or sending soldiers across the border. The defense ministry declined to comment on reports of Russian tanks in Novoazovsk.
“The Russian authorities clearly said many times there are no regular Russian troops there. Russia is not taking part in this armed conflict,” said a Russian diplomatic source. The latest escalation in the five-month crisis came only two days after the presidents of the two countries held their first talks in more than two months and agreed to work towards launching a peace process.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk appealed to the United States, European Union and G7 countries "to freeze Russian assets and finances until Russia withdraws armed forces, equipment and agents". Rebel advances this week have opened a new front in the conflict just as Ukraine's army appeared to have gained the upper hand, virtually encircling the separatists in their main strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, said on Facebook: "The invasion of Putin’s regular Russian army of Ukraine is now an established fact!"
French President Francois Hollande said it would be "intolerable and unacceptable" if it was proved true that Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory.
So a lot of words all of which were best summarized by Ukraine's Prime Minister in dissolutia, Yatseniuk, who as a reminder does not have an official role any more after the Ukraine government was dissolved (on Twitter) last week:
- PUTIN STARTED WAR IN EUROPE, UKRAINE’S PREMIER YATSENYUK SAYS
Ok so far so good: accusations, counteraccusations - we are used to that.
But where things once again got surreal, making everyone not only laugh but wonder how the CIA has lost the plotline so badly, was the following "clarification" headline from Reuters, which noticed some rather substantial change in the language on the website of the Ukraine president:
- CORRECTED-UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT POROSHENKO SAYS RUSSIAN TROOPS HAVE BEEN BROUGHT INTO UKRAINE (NOT 'RUSSIAN MILITARY INVASION HAS TAKEN PLACE') - PRESIDENTIAL WEBSITE
Indeed, instead of explicitly saying a "Russian military invasion has taken place", the website now reads: "I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region, particularly in Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo, as Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine," the President noted."
For all those wondering if to BTFATH or STFR, please sit tight until Ukraine gets its marching orders from the US State Dept whether to brand the "Russian troops being brought into Ukraine" as an invasion, or merely an accidental crossing, depending on how all of this will impact US strategy in Syria, which all of this is really all about: because remember, if and when the US begins to bomb the Assad regime under the guise it is fighting ISIS, all it will do is greenlight Qatar sending its gas pipeline to Europe... which after all has been the plan all along since 2012.
So stay tuned as this "socially-networked war" comedy unfolds before our eyes.