A recent report from Reuters claims that Russia’s army is massing troops and a large amount of weapons and armored vehicles along the Ukraine border. This would be the first major escalation since tensions supposedly eased a few months ago.
“Many of the vehicles have number plates and identifying marks removed while many of the servicemen had taken insignia off their fatigues,” claims the report. “As such, they match the appearance of some of the forces spotted in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev and its Western allies allege are covert Russian detachments.”
So not only is there major activity, but Russia also appears to be trying to hide their presence. The Russian government denies that its military is involved, but it is well known that separatists backed by Moscow have been fighting the pro-Western government forces in Kiev.
“The separatists are taking advantage of a ceasefire that came into force in February to rearm and prepare for a new offensive,” said NATO military commander General Philip Breedlove.
Reuters reports that the weapons delivered to the “make-shift base” on the Ukraine border included Uragan multiple rocket launchers, tanks and self-propelled howitzers. All of these weapon types were used in the initial conflict between Kiev and the separatists.
The other alarming fact from this report is that “the amount of military hardware at the base was about three times greater than in March this year, when Reuters journalists were previously in the area.”
Reuters was able to speak to Valentina Melnikova, a human rights campaigner who works with families of Russian servicemen. She told Reuters that the Rostov region (where the make-shift base is located) is in fact being used “as a staging post for troops on their way to Ukraine.” A serviceman also told her that he heard from commanders that “they are going to be transferred to Rostov region after May 20 and then to Ukraine.”
The Russian government has denied this, so this is all just allegation. Nevertheless, it does seem that military in the region continues to be very active.
The last time tensions escalated between Russian and Ukraine, gold prices jumped up to over $1,300 an ounce. The yellow metal is currently trading at $1,181 an ounce.
Gold prices have traditionally gone up during times of global uncertainty or global crisis. Whenever investors begin to worry about the economy, currency stability or war, gold prices tend to jump. Gold is considered by most experts a “safe-haven” investment. It has this status because its value is not tied to a specific currency or to the markets directly. This makes it an excellent hedge against market and global instability.