In response to claims by the Ukraine government (and the west) that Russia provoking trouble in Eastern Europe - with The White House's Jary Carney even suggesting that pro-Russia demonstrators were paid - Russia's foreign ministry has responded. Posting via their Facebook page, Russia urged Ukraine to halt any interior military preparations which could instigate a civil war. But the kicker, for which we anxiously await a rebuttal, is Russia's comment that they "are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries."
The US administration perspective... (via WaPo)
In Washington, the Obama administration expressed deep skepticism that the scattered uprisings and building takeovers in cities such as Donetsk and Kharkiv have been spontaneous. "There is strong evidence suggesting some of these demonstrators were paid," said Jay Carney, the White House spokesman.
"If Russia moves into eastern Ukraine, either overtly or covertly, this would be a very serious escalation," Carney said.
The Ukrainian perspective...
The Ukrainian government dispatched its highest-level police and security officials to the region Monday in an effort to put down the separatist agitation.
Kiev is confronting an attempt to "destabilize the situation," Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at an emergency cabinet meeting Monday. "The plan is for foreign troops to cross the border and seize the country's territory, which we will not allow."
And the Russian perspective, as ITAR-TASS reports,
The Russian Foreign Ministry urged Ukraine to halt any interior military preparations, which could instigate a civil war in the country, the ministry was quoted as saying on its Facebook.com account.
“According to our information, units of the Interior troops and Ukraine’s national guards as well as militants from the illegal armed formation ‘The Right Sector’ are being amassed in the southeastern parts of Ukraine and in the city of Donetsk,” the ministry said.
“We are particularly concerned that the operation involves some 150 American mercenaries from a private company Greystone Ltd., dressed in the uniform of the [Ukrainian] special task police unit Sokol,” the ministry said.
It seems the tit-for-tat sanctions have escalated to tit-for-tat explanations of who is escalating. However, whet is clear is the Russian warning which seems to implicitly be 'don't start this or we will finish it'. All along Putin has claimed this is to protect his countrymen in a foreign nation...
Here is some color on Greystone:
Greystone began providing services in 2004 as an affiliate of what is now Xe Services. In 2010, Greystone was acquired by current management. Greystone now operates as a standalone, management owned provider of aviation and protective support services and training.
Greystone has provided services in over ten countries worldwide. Greystone has offices in Bermuda, Chesapeake, Virginia and the United Arab Emirates. Mailing addresses are listed to the right.
Greystone provides highly trained, sophisticated and culturally knowledgeable personnel to support your operations. We quickly create turn-key solutions that are tailored to meet each customer's unique requirements and circumstances. We call in the best people to create the best solutions to support our customer's mission and ensure their success.
Our personnel are our most important asset. Greystone's worldwide network permits the company to select the right people. We draw from the premier law enforcement agencies, militaries and corporate entities throughout the world. Greystone carefully screens and evaluates all candidates to ensure only the highest caliber individuals are selected. Our on-site management team ensures that our personnel employ best practices while executing projects efficiently and effectively.