Russia's Mission to NATO released a response to Canada's Mission to NATO, which on Wednesday posted a map serving as " a guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & ‘accidentally’ entering" Ukraine .
Canada's map consisted simply of "Russia" and "Not Russia." It shaded in Crimea, the strategic peninsula Russia annexed in March, as part of "Not Russia."
Here's Canada's map, with an arrow we've added to show Crimea:
Russia's mission responded Thursday by posting a map that labels "RUSSIA" in Crimea. It also cuts off most of the areas in Ukraine where fighting is currently raging and labels the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as disputed. Both regions have declared independence from Georgia, but Georgia and most of the world does not recognize their independence. Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, and its troops are stationed in the regions.
Here's Russia's map:
As for Crimea, the West has condemned Russia's intervention and refused to recognize the takeover, with the U.S. and E.U. imposing sanctions; but there's not much more the West can practically do about it .
About a month after Russia annexed Crimea, Russian President Putin acknowledged he had sent in Russian forces to support local defense teams in the region while fighting raged. He said the troops were deployed to protect Russian-speaking citizens in Crimea.
"Of course we had our servicemen behind the self-defense units of Crimea," Putin said during an annual televised call-in with the nation in April. "We had to make sure what is happening now in eastern Ukraine didn't happen there."
Ultimately, Western officials fear that a new Russian offensive could be part of an overall plan to carve out a land link between Russia and Crimea.
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