Ukraine has declared martial law in response to Russian actions against its naval vessels and claims of a ‘large scale invasion’ being planned.

The parliament backed President Petro Poroshenko’s request to introduce Martial Law in regions mostly bordering Russia for 30 days starting from 28 November.

This could lead to widespread compulsory military service, restrictions on media and public demonstrations , amongst other measures.

This comes after clashes occurred when a Russian cargo ship stopped three Ukrainian Navy vessels from passing under the Kerch Strait Bridge. Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels off the coast of annexed Crimea. Two gunboats and a tug were captured by Russian special forces after a chase. According to Ukraine, six Ukrainian crew members were injured.

Earlier, Russia’s border guard service had accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the ships’ journey, something Kiev denied, and said the Ukrainian ships had been manoeuvring dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions.

Earlier today (Monday, November 26th) the President of Ukraine claimed to have evidence that Russia was planning a ‘large scale’ invasion of Ukraine.

Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson, said “NATO is closely monitoring developments in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, and we are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities. We call for restraint and de-escalation.”

With officials from both countries accusing the other of provocative behaviour and relations still raw after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its backing for a pro-Moscow insurgency in eastern Ukraine, the incident risks pushing the two countries towards a wider conflict.

Read a summary of the conflict so far here.

46 COMMENTS

  1. it isn’t echo
    somewhere it is REAL war is going with real deaths, and even UK warranties didn’t prevent this.
    So all promises are useless none any country has to trust to any other.

    • Appeasement has never worked. If Russia is allowed to bully & annex neighbouring states, they will do, as will China( already annexed Tibet, South China sea & courting many nations with their economic powers), as will any dictator anywhere in the world who sees they can get away with it. It’s up to the freedom loving nations to stand up to it before the world goes to pot. Having allies like Saudi Arabia doen’t help our cause.

        • I’m no globalist Marc. Just looking at the writing on the wall & remembering how Hiltler started with pro German areas like the Saar, Austria & the Sudetenland. Japan entered WW2 after fgacing crippling sanctions. We’re probably less well prepared for war today than we were in 1939 or 1941 by a long way. Therefore we may wish to walk softly, but we have no big stick.
          I have two sons of military age who I’d hate to see going into a war, but our military weaknesses only encourages the likes of Russia & China or any other who sees how the west can do very little to stop them. Globalism has delivered tiny & fragile militaries in western Europe that has made all our protests to Russia hollow.
          (Globalism is floored in that it sees people as a faceless commodity, along with society & the cultures of each nation. It is just a force to enable the few richest investers to suck up & hold all the wealth in the world rather than seeing wealth as the essential means of allowing people everywhere to live in dignity. It sees itself as above the law.)

    • That’s a terrible idea. Imagine if we’d said the same thing in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.

      If us, the US and others had said the same thing about Islamic State when they began their campaign in Iraq and Syria, IS would have taken Baghdad by now.

      As others have said, appeasement or just ignoring it because we’re ok is just kicking the can down the road and making it worse for later.

      • “That’s a terrible idea. Imagine if we’d said the same thing in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland.”

        In 1945 the Soviet Union annexed Poland…

  2. Well if you egnore bad behaviour in a child, you effectively enable them and make it worse. Countries are no different.

    Russian aggressive behaviour is only getting worse, from chemical weapons attacks on the heart of England, to their increasingly dark threatening and insidious actions towards the Baltic States, Georgia and the Ukraine.

    We nothing at our peril, it will be seen as weakness and encourage futher Russian aggressive behaviour in all areas, including further overt assassinations in western countries.

    At one time I would have said keep out of these issues, now I would allow Georgia and Ukraine into NATO and firmly give the Russian bear the middle finger…

    This coupled with biting economic sanctions to strangle their economy and hopefully make Putin’s disgusting ragime collapse.

    The Russians only respond to strength, never forget that.

    • Russia respects strength, your quite right there, but Europe has been on a binge of demilitarisation since humiliating Russia by winning the cold war, leaving our strength dangerously weak.
      Sanctions can only be partly effective, but don’t forget that sanctions against Japan in 1940-41 drove them to make war for which we were very ill prepared for. Russia & China just completed major joint exercises only this summer & China is building a fleet to seriously challange USN intervention in the far east.

      • NATO conduct major exercises every year. Russia aren’t ready for a conventional conflict with the west and China are realistically nowhere near the strength of the US.

      • Same thing with Germany in WW2, the effective sanctions put in place after WW1 made the perfect case for Hitler.

        Sanctions don’t really work, all they do is isolate a country and make their case for hating the other country.

    • Clark
      That premise would require me to view Russia as a child or grandchild. I don’t, I view them as a fellow nation.
      Second it would require me to say that Russia is doing something out of the ordinary. That they are truly acting differently than the West.
      Third this view “we have to do something” is incorrect. My neighbor may bang two crack whores every night but that is not my business. That would be a moral buisy body’s buisness.

  3. Russia is the big fat bully of the world, the only solution is to stand united against them. They should be removed from the security council for starters.

  4. If China did not annex the South China sea, some other nation would of done it as well. As for the Russians, Putin only applies military might where he knows he can get away with it.

      • and the next question is just how do you go about doing that without starting WW3 ourselves.

        There is nothing we can realistically do to stop them, beyond negative words.

          • Name it? I am being serious here, its not as easy as you might first think.

            Its really not easy to stop a big nation (or small) nation doing what they want short of actual military actions. The days of being able to blockage ports etc without starting full out war are long gone.

            Seriously we move military assets into Ukraine, we risk WW3 and frankly put our troops at risk in a war we can not win. We already have sanctions in place against Russia, yes we can increase them but they realistically have little impact. What can we do?

            Same problem with the posioning incident, we all thought we needed to do something in reaction but realistically what could we actually do, pretty much zip.

          • Don’t get me wrong, i think we should do something, I just can’t come up with anything.

            Let’s say we put a measure in the UN, it will just get veto’ed by Russia/China, so meaningless.

      • It’s a failiure of post cold war policy in the west (including EU empire building) that has got us here before taking Russia’s politics into consideration. WW3 MAD is high in everybodies thoughts. Maybe something like the UN intervention in the Korean war is a possibility to halt Russian aggression. Nobody wants war, but sometimes too many mistakes have already been been made. I really want to avoid it. I have tremendous love & respect for the Rusian nation & people, though not for dictators like Putin.

    • Nicholas, there is something extremely disturbing about your statement about the South China Sea. Some other country? Last time that happened it was the Japanese.
      Today there are several independent sovereign countries in South East Asia that have equal claims to the South China Sea. Unlike China, they do not claim the entire Sea but those areas adjacent to their coastline, and those islands that they may have historical claim to. China does not. They claim that since the Seas have “China” in their name, they are therefore Chinese. By this same reasoning, India can lay claim to the entire Indian Ocean. China’s claims violates the sovereign rights of those nations. Be careful, next China will be laying claim to parts of UK because of a preponderance of Chinese Nationals living there, much like how Russia laid claim to the Crimea.

  5. A very dangerous situation and the scary part is that the War that truly will end all Wars could be sparked by the ‘small man syndrome’ that appears to afflict Putin. I agree with comments above that there has to be some red lines drawn in front of Russian aggression but what if Putin doesn’t blink first. A conflict could and probably would escalate quickly in to an all out nuclear holocaust.
    Brexit isn’t what we should be worrying about..

  6. The problem is people take selective memories from history.

    If you look back to early days of Hitler, you could say appeasement didn’t work which is clearly one reading but is probably only part of the story.

    The problem is it wasn’t the full story, Britain / France had just come out of a messy war and were looking at Germany and thinking if we try and stop them we will trigger another huge messy war. They were also looking at the countries being attacked early on and realizing they were too far away to reinforce fast enough, and so nothing they really could do to save them and sending troops would put our own defences at risk.

    Ultimately WW2 happened anyway. My question, which no one really has the answer, is would it have happened anyway without appeasement, just earlier.

    The ironic part, is if it had happened earlier, Russia wouldn’t have had the time it needed to re-arm and Germany probably would have won WW1.

    I am not saying appeasement is right, I am just saying life isn’t as simple as decisions being right/wrong black/white.

    • Neville Chamberlains diaries have been recently released to the public and it highlights why he aggressively pushed for appeasement. The UK had just come out of recession and there was severe riots in India over independence. The armed forces at the time were purely set up to police the Empire with a small reactionary force in case of trouble.
      From his diaries he wrote of his meetings with Hitler and realised very quickly on that Hitler would not be satisfied with just annexing the Sudetenland etc. Also, he recognised that another war was very likely, but the armed force and industry were not geared for another European war. This is why he pushed for delay and appeasement to make sure that our industry had enough time to gear up for war, but also that the armed forces would be ready.
      It is said that if our troops and the French had prevented the German Army from reoccupying the Rhine valley and the industrial heartland it may have prevented Hitler’s ambitions. But I doubt that Hitler would have been so easily thwarted, he was a man on a mission to right the wrongs done to the German people after WW1, by any means!
      The recent film: “The Darkest Hour” that shows how Churchill took over from Chamberlain does not mention the reasons behind appeasement, it did show how Lord Halifax wanted to bend the knee to Hitler though. It did highlight how precarious the situation with the Army and Airforce was, in some respects Dunkirk was a serious wake up call. It was believed that the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) would be used much like the Army in WW1. Basically forcing the German Army into a stalemate via trench warfare.
      The mandarins of the Army didn’t take the combined infantry, artillery and armoured tactics developed by Fuller and Hart to heart, believing that future ground warfare would be dictated by the Airforce and artillery. Manoeuvre warfare was a unpleasant surprise and we’re lucky any troops at all made it out of Dunkirk.
      The Russians are the best at practising total combined warfare, using tactics originally developed during WW2 and against NATO, but also using subversion, propaganda, fake news cyber hacking and intelligence. The conflict in Ukraine highlights all of the above, where Russia is using “proxies” to carry out the ground action, but who are fully supplied with modern arms, intelligence and training whilst Russia is providing the fake news, cyber hacking and adverse propaganda in the background. The difference between then and now is that Hitler was blatant and open about his so called vision of a Aryan empire, whilst today Russia is denying all knowledge.

    • It is still the majority view amongst Histirians that the balance of power at the point Hitler annexed Sudetenland meant that Germany was not in a position to go to War with the British Empire and Or the Third republic, infact it is very likely that a single Alied Power acting agressively towards German at that point would have knock Hitlers government out of power, points to back this up:
      1) he had just blackmailed and removed the leadership of the German army because it had told him the Germany was not ready for war and would loss in short order against the British Empire or France.
      2) 25% of German tanks involved in the invasion of France were tanks taken from or built in Czechoslovakian.
      3) German armour in 38 was not fit for purpose (as evidenced in the Spanish civil war)
      4) German U boat production in 1937 was a total of 1, with 9 in 1938 but had then gone to 18 and 50 in 39 and 40 up to 200 in 41.
      5) In 1938 German fuel reserves could only support 25% of mobilisation needs.
      6) Aviation lubricants reserves could only support 6% of Luftwaffe mobilisation requirements in 1938.
      7) in 38 German industry was working at only 80ish% output due to steal shortages
      8) Goring started that German industry in 38 had reach a point of maximum distress.

      Hitler used war by other means to take Austria when he needed its currency and gold reserves then he acted in 38 against Czechoslovakian out of apsolute need, due to impending industrial collapse. Chamberline the leader of one of the two preeminent superpowers in the world did not act against a hyper aggressive minor power (knowing war was in reality inevitable, unless the British empire was willing to sacrifice a number of Europe nations) because to act would cause some destabilisation to the Empire. Instead he set a red line which allowed the beast to feed itself on two other nations,becoming unmanageable and allowing it to choose the point at which it crossed the red line, dooming the very empire he sort to keep strong.

      Chamberlain made a catastrophic miss-calculation in policy, what the documents released under the 30 year rule do is give some insight into why he made the mistake ( it does not really remove the mistake itself).

      Now I’m not saying any of this relalas to Russia in the present day, as there is one big difference, Russia is a nuclear power with the ability to turn Western Europe Into a wasteland , remembering if your a utter nutter, Russia has the land mass to take every single Nuclear weapon European nations have and you could make a fair gamble that a Trump administration would blink when faced with the loss of all US cities balanced against avenging a strike on Europe.

  7. Steve, I understand what you are saying and it is difficult to think of something. There is an idea however the response could be bad. Hold secret negotiations with the Ukraine and prepare two NATO Armoured Corps and an Air Group. then release information that the Ukraine has joined NATO and within 30 minutes of the press release move One Corp to the Baltic States and One into the Ukraine.
    NATO has done nothing wrong, it has not invaded a third party country, it has only redeployed troops to aid and integrate full members into the defence pact. Yes, I know Russia will go ballistic, shouting and screaming about NATO aggression, forgeting their own off course. I am sure that the world would then get Russia to the table as would they really want to start a war?
    If they do get Russia to the table then possibly NATO could do one more thing, invite Russia to Join NATO. The West would have taking a strong stance without firing a shot. How is that for an idea?

    • Moving that many assets would require serious coordination across multiple countries and Russia would for sure find out. We would then give Russia the perfect excuse for invading the rest of Ukraine on the context that they are countering a NATO aggression or at least further justification for its position of reinforcing its western border against the NATO expansion.

      There is also the problem that NATO does not want Ukraine as a member, for multiple reasons but mainly because they would just be a liability. Plus I believe Ukraine originally decided not to join.

      Also how sure would we be that doing this would not trigger a shooting war, i imagine there are rogue factions in Ukraine on both sides, that would happily have NATO attack and push back Russia from Chimera and could stage military action.

      • The problem is, if you take the nukes out of the equation, does the west really want to go to war over Ukraine, a country that has a questionable government and economy is in a mess.

        Add to the equation, like WW2, we have just come out of 2 messy wars, further reducing any desire within the UK population to go to war again.

        • Very good points Steve. If we find ourselves in a war, the failiure of governments would be in entering it so poorly prepared that many 1,000 of casualties happen unnecessarily in the time it takes to recover from the folly & trechery of running down our armed forces way beyond reason. That it could trigger a nuclear war on any level simply emphasises the imbecility of conventional force cuts.

          Imagine a conquered Ukraine under Russian occupation. The killed in combat, the killed in resistance, the masses of imprisoned & tortured, the bitter resentment that the west just fiddled & navel gazed while Ukraines “Rome” burned-just like we’ve done in Syria.

          • We should remember that Russia has violated the many bi-lateral treaties to respect Ulrainian soveriegnty in all it’s done. Including the joint access to the sea of Azov in this case.

    • If Ukraine joined NATO would we not have to go to war to free the occupied areas of the Ukraine? Rather than fight with tanks etc, why not go after the Russians with a campaign to cause a political revolution in Russia.

  8. Im not pro Russia but it is a bit strange this is the first time Ukraine has called martial law right before an election when they did not declare it in 2014 when they where actually invade. The Ukraine president was down in the polls if Russia was to invade they would have done it already. I dont see this war achieving anything just turning Ukraine onto Syria if both sides do go at it.

  9. An old Russian military saying “ you push, and push and push some more, until you meet cold,hard steel. Then you stop pushing.
    Time to put the maximum number of warheads on each Trident missile and move assets to western Ukraine. Russia is going broke, Putin’s hold on power depends on military expenditure he cannot sustain and making Russia look tough. He falls once Russia fails. He may decide taking everyone with him is preferable. We also need Astor anti ballistic missiles now.

  10. P Tattersall. Putin pays his armed forces peanuts. Russia can and would be able to afford to invade the Ukraine. It would give them access to rich arable lands and a further population of many millions of taxpayers. Crucially it would give Putin’s Russia some liebensraum and he would be loved by a Russian populace fed on lies and propoganda from a state controlled media.
    Could Russia invade the Ukraine? Yes
    Will they?
    Depends on the calculation of what Putin thinks NATO will do in response.

  11. Possibly it is just me but I see a similarity in what Putin is doing in the Ukraine to Hitler with Czechoslovakia and the Sudetenland. I also see a similarity in the response to Putin from the West and the Anglo-French response to Hitler. We all know how that went with Hitler.
    I for one do not want to see a shooting war with Russia but at the same time a wise man once said that to have peace you must prepare for war.
    I asked i an earlier post if it might be an idea to pull the Ukraine into NATO and redeploy troops and see what happens.
    Steve made an interesting comment when he explained of the logistical difficulties in such a redeployment. If that is the case and I am sure that Steve is correct then something has gone seriously wrong with NATO preparations. I was as a young man in the British Army in the time of the cold war. My regiment was the only British Regt that was not a part of the British Army but under NATO command, we even shared the base with Belgians who carried out a different part of the task.German and Dutch vehicles, German and American equipment, even parts of our uniform was different such as coloured silk cravats(different colour for each Sqn), which caused me problems when I went to HQ 1 BAOR. We were at 30 minutes notice 24 hours a day all members of the Regt had to be reachable so (as I found out) no disappearing overnight with your girlfriend (came back to base and Regt hot deployed) whoops. Anyway that was the standard, if NATO is not at that standard now then as I have said something has gone wrong.
    Trying to appease Russia and Putin will only make them think that they will get away with it and become more adventuress, where will they stop Latvia, Estonia, Finland where. The only thing that the Russians understand is strength, politics they are good at, especially the spin of it. Its everyone else’s fault poor Russia is being made to blame for everything.
    Possibly it is time for NATO to up its readiness and forward deploy large mobile formations on a permanent basis in the locations that they should be if there was a shooting war.
    It should make the Russians think and get them to the table even if it means dragging them there kicking and screaming. I still think that the best outcome would be if we as NATO could get Russia as a member of NATO then the threat would not exist.

  12. Problem is can you seriously invite Ukraine and Russia to join NATO? they are both dodgy countries with questionable governance and riddled with fraud and corruption.
    Putin is rumoured to have some £25 billion squirrelled away in various Swiss bank accounts. MI6 and the CIA have tracked these accounts and know this to be true. Then in the Ukraine- a population of +50 million and yet they cannot afford to push Russia back in the east to the border? really why is that when Ukraine is comparatively resource rich?- because of corruption. For every dollar spent fighting the war and going into the frontline probably 5 or 10 is siphoned off.
    Neither Russia or the Ukraine are at a point where they should be invited into NATO- although I agree the opportunity was there post cold-war to do just that but it was blocked by the republicans in the USA.

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