Russia says it has thwarted two armed Ukrainian incursions into Crimea, following a “massive fire fight.. Ukraine denies the Russian claims.
Accusations from Russia state that Ukraine is using terrorist tactics to try to provoke a new conflict and destabilise annexed Crimea. Ukraine denies Russia’s assertions, saying they are a ruse to stir up tensions with Kiev.
It is understood the claims come from reports that that two of seven saboteurs in one group had been killed and five captured by Russian forces.
Sources told local media that had confessed to planning a series of bombings at Crimean tourist resorts and said their objective had been to spread panic to destroy the tourist industry and not to kill anyone.
Since Russian control over Crimea was established in 2014, the peninsula has been administered as part of the Russian Federation except for the northern areas of the Arabat Spit and the Syvash Sea which are still controlled by Ukraine.
Within days of the signing of the accession treaty, the process of integrating Crimea into the Russian federation began: in March the Russian ruble went into official circulation and clocks were moved forward to Moscow time, in April a new revision of the Russian Constitution was officially released with the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol included in the list of federal subjects of the Russian Federation and in June the Russian ruble became the only form of legal tender.
In July 2015, Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, stated that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.
Though Russia has control, sovereignty over the peninsula remains disputed as Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider the annexation as being illegal. A range of international sanctions remain in place against Russia and a number of named individuals as a result of the events of 2014.
The First Yatsenyuk Government of Ukraine, along with most of the sovereign states in the world, did not recognise the Republic’s claim to sovereignty, nor the unification of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with Sevastopol, nor the referendum that paved the way for Crimean secession.