It all began with Canada tweeting a Russian military map showing Ukraine as “not Russia” with a remark:”Geography can be tough. Here’s a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost and ‘accidentally’ enter Ukraine.”
The tweet went viral but soon Russia shot back by tweeting its own map showing Crimea as part of its territory. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.
Kiev accused Russia on Thursday of sending tanks, artillery and troops across Ukraine’s border, while Russia says the 10 soldiers captured in Ukraine entered by mistake. Supporting Kiev’s stand, NATO said about 1,000 Russian troops are inside Ukraine, while support staff and medical aid across the border inside a Russian village amount to about 20,000 soldiers.
“It’s important to look at this exchange through the current context,” said Rick Roth, the top spokesman for Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “The original tweet was in the context of Russian military personnel being found in sovereign Ukrainian territory, claiming they were lost. Nobody believes that.”
Dutch Brig. Gen. Nico Tak also said there has been Russian interference in Ukraine. “We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks, and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine,” said Tak.
Baird depictd the Russian move as a “significant provocation” ahead of the next week’s NATO summit in Wales with new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, the alliance cannot automatically come to its defense.