Russia's recent massing of troops and military hardware at its Kuzminsky firing range—only thirty miles from the Ukrainian border—raises fears that the escalating conflict may soon involve Russian regulars. Yet despite the telltale signs of Russian involvement such as unmarked vehicles, servicemen without insignia, and weaponry routinely seen in the possession of pro-Russian separatists, this latest buildup does not signal another massive Russian incursion. At least not yet.
Vyshhorod District Head Alexander Gorgan presented certificates to those soldiers who had completed one year of military service, which entitles them to land, medical care, and preferential hiring. It was by all accounts an ordinary town-and-gown ceremony in Vyshhorod, a small city north of Kyiv.
But something was clearly different: Gorgan gave his cell phone number to local residents and encouraged them to contact him with their problems.