World Bulletin / News Desk
The US State Department has accused Russia of being linked to militants in unmarked uniforms who seized the Crimean peninsula prior to its March 16 referendum which paved the way for its annexation by Moscow.
Referring to the pro-Russian militants as 'little green men', the State Department released photographs allegedly proving Russian involvement in the occupation of Crimea before the annexation on Monday.
Russia cannot declare its support to deescalate unrest in Ukraine and at the same time stir the tension up, the US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland said in an exclusive interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
“You cannot dress yourself like a firefighter and behave like an arsonist,” she said, adding that "We are very concerned about the Russian hand behind the destabilization that we’re seeing in eastern Ukraine.”
Nuland also commented on a dossier that CNN revealed with images of gunmen operating in eastern Ukraine, which were similar to photos of Russian forces in Crimea and Russia's 2008 invasion of Georgia.
Nuland said the 'bearded man' that appeared both in Georgia and eastern Ukraine is "clearly a GRU agent" - GRU being Russian Military's Main Intelligence Directorate tasked to collect information from sources outside of Russia.
Russia has always denied sending troops to Crimea after the fall of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovich's administration in late February at the hands of pro-EU protesters.
The EU had also blamed Russia for the occupation of Crimea and the escalating tensions in eastern Ukraine between pro-EU and pro-Russian protesters.Last Mod: 22 Nisan 2014, 15:17