Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukraine of "practicing terror" over a thwarted incursion by the Ukrainian military into Crimea.
"This is very alarming news. In fact, our security services prevented an incursion into the territory by a sabotage-reconnaissance group from Ukraine's Defense Ministry," Putin said Wednesday.
Russia's Federal Security Service said earlier Wednesday that it had thwarted an incursion by the Ukrainian military into Crimea over the weekend, saying two Russians were killed in the incident.
"From the Russian side there were losses, two soldiers killed. We obviously will not let such things slide by," the Russian president said, adding, "The attempt to provoke an uptick in violence, to provoke conflict is nothing but an attempt to distract public attention."
The Russian president also described the Ukrainian authorities’ recent actions as "stupid" and "criminal," saying they make holding planned negotiations on the peace process in eastern Ukraine fruitless.
"This is a very dangerous game. We will of course do everything to assure the security of infrastructure, [and] citizens and will take additional measures to provide security, including serious additional measures," Putin said.
Ukraine’s defense intelligence rejected Russia’s claim over the incursion, saying it was based on “fake information.”