Russia promises retaliation against alleged Ukrainian terror plots in Crimea

Kiev and the EU have questioned Moscow's account of an incident which resulted in the death of two Russian soldiers...

Russia promises retaliation against alleged Ukrainian terror plots in Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin attending the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Paralympics (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

Russia has promised to take "exhaustive measures" as a retaliation against an alleged altercation with Ukrainian forces which took place on the de facto border of the annexed Crimean peninsula and resulted in the death of two Russian soldiers.

While Russia has said that the attack was an act of State-supported terrorism, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called the incident a work of "fiction."

He claims that it was created by Russia as an "excuse for further military threats." Kiev says that the altercation was in fact between Russian military and security officials.

A still from a video released by the Russian Federal Security Service in Crimea, claiming to feature a detained  "Ukrainian saboteur"

TV footage of the alleged Ukrainian conspirators featured a full moon - although the last full moon was on July 19th.

European Commission spokesman Alexandre Polack drew the authenticity of the Russian account into question yesterday, saying, "We reiterate our condemnation and non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea ... There has been neither concrete evidence provided by Russia sustaining its claim nor any independent confirmation of the claims made by Russian authorities."

Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov claims that Moscow has, "incontrovertible proof that this was a diversion that was planned long ago by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry with the goal of destabilising the situation in Russian Crimea."

He spoke yesterday at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and warned that there will be reciprocations - but he said Russia would stop short of severing diplomatic ties with Kiev.

East Ukraine remains the most volatile region in the country. Domestic reports in Russia claim that authorities are considering "ceasing to hold back the actions of the army of the Donetsk People’s Republic" - a group of Russia-backed rebels.

Russia Today, the Russian state broadcaster reports that the skirmish was part of a Ukranian plot to stage a "series of terrorist attacks in Crimea." Russia's security services claim to have foiled plans for additional "terror attacks."

"I think it’s obvious that Kiev’s current authorities are not seeking ways to solve problems through negotiations, but have turned to terrorism," Vladamir Putin said in the wake of the shootings.