Russia has deployed an advanced S-400 surface-to-air missile battery to the Crimean Peninsula amid escalating tensions there, according to Russian news reports. The missile system, once operational, would be able to target aircraft deep into Ukrainian airspace.
The deployment of the road-mobile missile system has been planned at least since July, but its arrival in Crimea coincides with a flurry of military activity and rhetoric following claims from the Kremlin that two Russians were killed on the Crimean-Ukrainian border last week.
A startling claim that the west is on course for war with Russia has been delivered by the former deputy commander of Nato, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff.
In a book published on Wednesday, 2017 War With Russia, Shirreff argues that the events in Crimea have destroyed the post-cold-war settlement and set the stage for conflict, beginning next year.
A state of emergency has been declared in Crimea after pylons carrying electricity from Ukraine were blown up cutting off power to almost two million people, media and the Russian government said on Sunday.
The Russian Energy Ministry didn’t say what had caused the outages, but Russian media reported that two pylons in the Kherson region of Ukraine north of Crimea had been blown up by Ukrainian nationalists.
The Alexandr Tkachenko, an ageing ferry with a canary-yellow hull, usually carries people across the Kerch Strait, a bustling sea route and the only connection between Russia and Crimea, the peninsula Moscow annexed from Ukraine last year.
A court in Russia has jailed Ukrainian film-maker Oleg Sentsov for 20 years for plotting terrorist acts in Crimea.
Sentsov, 39, was arrested in May 2014 during a protest against Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula two months earlier.
He pleaded not guilty and his family say he will appeal. The trial has been condemned by the US, EU and other film directors.