Ukraine Foreign Minister 
Dmytro Kuleba (Anadolu photo)

KYIV, Ukraine -- Ukraine’s foreign minister warned late Wednesday against a “staged provocation” by Russia as tensions between Moscow and Kyiv remain high.

“Worrying reports from Crimea on the entire night shift of Titan chemicals plant in Armyansk evacuated from the facility,” Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

“This might be a preparation for another staged provocation by Russia. Moscow seems to have no limits in attempts to falsify pretexts for further aggression.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Monday that Moscow was recognizing the two eastern Ukrainian breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk as “independent” states, followed quickly by sending forces to “maintain peace.”

The announcements drew widespread global condemnation as violations of the UN Charter and international law, with Western countries announcing new sanctions on Russia.

In 2014, after invading Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, Moscow began to support separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained since then. The conflict has taken more than 13,000 lives, according to the UN.

Putin's latest moves follow Russia’s amassing of 100,000 troops and heavy equipment in and around its neighbor, with the US and Western countries accusing it of setting the stage for an invasion.

Russia has denied that it is preparing an invasion and instead claims the has West undermined its security through NATO’s expansion toward its borders. (Anadolu)