Within the last 24 hours, Russia invaded the city of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov with a pair of armored columns, sending Ukrainian forces fleeing, in what is the most outright display of Russia's involvement in what has been deemed a Ukrainian civil war.
Video is slowly coming out of this captured city showing main battle tanks in the streets:
Meanwhile, NATO has released reconnaissance images that clearly show Russian armor operating in Eastern Ukraine, and a military activity has spiked on Ukraine's fresh border with Russian controlled Crimea, setting up the possibility for a dramatic pincer attack into southeast Ukraine. Also, Russian paratroopers that were operating in Eastern Ukraine have been captured by Ukrainian forces.
All this, not to mention the fact that Russia already invaded Ukraine's semi-autonomous Crimean peninsula, and this week's 'humanitarian blitzkrieg' by white-washed Russian trucks, demands a change in terminology regarding this crisis- it is no longer a insurrection or a Russian incursion, it is an invasion.
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President Obama just spoke briefly on the issue, and he clearly stated that Russia is fully behind the training and the equipping of pro-Russian forces, and that the Russian military is actively operating in Ukraine. As to how he plans on responding to today's overwhelming news regarding Russia's outright invasion of Novoazovsk, he said that he would meet with world leaders as to how to continue to put economic pressure on Russia to change their behavior, a tactic he currently refers to as 'effective.' Additionally, President Obama said that he would reassure NATO allies that they have the backing of the US when he is in Europe next week.
This muted executive response may help blunt a very frightening reality- Russia has aspirations beyond its own borders toward the West, and there is little anyone is willing to do about it.
Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com