Editor’s note: The validity of the pictures in this post has been called into question since this post was published. The Ukrainian government has stated that it will no longer use the work of the photographer, Dmitry Muravsky, who was responsible for the images due to concerns that the scenes were staged. Business Insider ran this post after seeing then-Ambassador to Ukraine Geoff Pyatt share the images on Twitter.
Something big may be about to go down in Ukraine.
For the Ukrainian soldiers who are stationed on the eastern border with Russia, however, things have already escalated to a conventional conflict. For example, in Shyrokyne, on the Azov Sea coast east of the port city of Mariupol, Ukrainian forces have reportedly been the target of over 200 rounds of mortars and artillery fire in the middle of the night from separatist forces.
And the conflict in Ukraine looks like it could be on the verge of boiling over as Russian and Russia-backed forces are encircling Ukraine from the north, east, and south.
Ukrainian military photographer Dmitry Muravsky captured the alleged moment of what appears to be Ukrainian forces being fired upon:
— Viktor Kovalenko (@MrKovalenko) August 17, 2016
— Michael Crowley (@michaelcrowley) August 17, 2016
It doesn’t seem like things will be tapering off anytime soon, either, since Russia has recently deployed an assortment of ground, air, and naval units around Ukraine. Included in the deployments is the S-400 air-defense system in response to Russian allegations that Ukraine had deployed special-forces troops to the contested region of Crimea in order to commit acts of sabotage.
“We obviously will not let such things slide by,” Russian President Vladimir Putin warned.
But the US has determined that there is no evidence of a Ukrainian incursion into Crimea. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine on March 18, 2014, after the peninsula held a referendum on independence. The referendum was held during a Russian occupation.