Putin Convenes National Security Council
Following reports of alleged fighting on Russian territory near the Ukrainian border, Vladimir Putin has convened the National Security Council. “For Friday, the Security Council is on the President’s agenda,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, according to the Interfax agency.
According to Peskov’s statements, Putin also cancelled a planned trip to the Caucasus region of Stavropol at short notice in connection with the recent incidents in Russia’s Bryansk Oblast on Ukraine’s northern border. The domestic secret service FSB had previously spoken of heavy fighting with “Ukrainian nationalists” in the region. “We are talking about an attack by terrorists, and measures are now being taken to destroy them,” said Peskow.
So far, the Russian information has not been independently verified. However, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak denied the reports. That was “a classic deliberate provocation,” said Podoljak. Russia wants to “terrify its people to justify attacking another country (and) increasing poverty after the year of war,” he wrote on Twitter. He suggested that the attack was the work of Russian partisans.
According to observers, if an act of sabotage actually occurred, it would be an embarrassment for Putin. A few days ago, he instructed the security service to tighten controls at the border with Ukraine. Russia could use such an incident to escalate attacks in Ukraine.
When asked by journalists whether the war against Ukraine, which Moscow continued to describe as a “special military operation,” might be upgraded at the Security Council meeting, Peskov said only: “I don’t know, I can’t say that yet.”
Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been constant speculation as to whether Russia might officially declare war on Ukraine.
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