Ukraine and Russia: War, not peace

THE war in Ukraine is intensifying, as Russia’s incursions into the east of the country become ever more brazen. On August 27th a column of Russian troops and equipment crossed the Russia-Ukraine border in the far south, at Novoazovsk, in an apparent attempt to open a new front outside the rebel-held areas and closer to Crimea. Ukraine’s security services released videos of ten Russian soldiers captured in eastern Ukraine. Reports have surfaced in Russia of mysterious funerals for members of Pskov’s 76th Airborne Division. As The Economist went to press, NATO was releasing photographic evidence showing that as many as 1,000 Russian soldiers are now in eastern Ukraine. And Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s president, declared baldly that “an invasion of Russian forces has taken place.”All this came after Mr Poroshenko met Vladimir Putin, for the first time since June, in the margins of a summit in Minsk. The meeting began icily and achieved little. Russia’s interests—keeping Ukraine out of NATO—have not changed. Even if many Russians are ready to buy claims of soldiers “accidentally” crossing the border, the rest of the world is not. Yet Mr Putin still maintains that…

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