Update: behold the shelling...
Shelling is reported to have started on the eastern outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, according to local reporters on social media. This crucial city, due to its standing as the last major city standing in the way of a land connection to Crimea (from Russia) across the Southern border. Furthermore, Mariupol's strategic importance as a port and major industrial city is crucial to Kiev who are reinforcing the city after losing Novoazovsk last week, with the Ukrainian army on full alert. NATO has been actively sabre-rattling this morning, pulling a full Draghi by threatening to do "whatever it takes" to defend ourselves and our allies, and offering training and support for Ukraine (as they report over 3,000 Russian troops in Ukraine). Escalation?
Shelling on the outskirts of Mariupol #Ukraine— Simon Ostrovsky (@SimonOstrovsky) September 4, 2014
- UKRAINIAN ARMY ON TOP ALERT NEAR PORT CITY OF MARIUPOL, READY TO REPULSE POSSIBLE ATTACK BY REBELS - MILITARY SOURCE - RTRS
"Artillery and tank fire audible on eastern edge of Mariupol. Ukrainians say 4 armored columns advancing towards Shirokina. Hint of panic:" France 24 journalist Robert Parsons says in Twitter post
"Apparently, the rebel tanks have left Novoazovsk several hours ago and are moving towards Mariupol now. Their current position is unclear:” freelance journalist Petr Shelomovskiy says in Twitter post
- *NATO SAYS >3,000 RUSSIA TROOPS W/ TANKS IN UKRAINE: SKY
NATO has some comments too...
“We have left no doubt that we will do whatever it takes to defend ourselves,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says.
Rasmussen: “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has been a wake-up call. It has reminded all of us that our freedom, security and prosperity cannot be taken for granted. Some are trying to redraw dividing lines in Europe with force”
Terrorism, Middle East turmoil, Russia’s aggression, the threats of cyber-warfare confront NATO with a “climate of chaos” on its borders, he says
Rasmussen: “We will adopt a readiness-action plan that will make our forces faster, fitter and more flexible, ready to address any challenges, whenever they come and from wherever they come”
Rasmussen: Readiness plan to center on “a military unit that can be deployed at very short notice if needed. It would be followed by more forces if needed”
NATO will step up cooperation with Ukraine, help build up and advise Ukraine’s military, he says
Rasmussen: “We will adopt a substantial package for Georgia, a package that will bring Georgia closer to NATO, including a defense-capacity initiative, establishing a training center in Georgia, occasionally also exercises in Georgia”
Rasmussen: “I see NATO as an alliance with a global perspective, not as a global policeman. We can’t solve all crises all over the world”
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If this is not escalation, then we are baffled as to what is...
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Now it seems Ukraine wants 'talks' again...
- *UKRAINE TO CALL TRUCE TOMORROW IF TALKS TAKE PLACE: POROSHENKO