On Wednesday, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said that it had dismantled a spy ring organized by the Ukrainian Defense Ministry in Crimea, which was preparing acts of sabotage on "critical and life-supporting elements of the peninsula's infrastructure." An FSB officer and a Russian Defense Ministry's serviceman died during a shootout that ensued during the raid.
According to the news outlet, one of the possible measures open to Moscow to retaliate for Kiev's actions could be to close the Russian diplomatic mission and recall the staff of its embassy in Ukraine.
"One of the options for a possible, strict response may be to break off diplomatic ties. Moscow is working on such an option. However, the head of the country will have the last word, he will take a decision based on the gathered data," the source told the newspaper.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia is still insisting on appointing a new ambassador but if Ukraine preferred to lower the level of their respective diplomatic missions, then that was the likely outcome of the matter.