By Euro Weekly News Media • 29 August 2014 • 8:43
RUSSIAN troops have been deployed in East Ukraine, according to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
The claim of the alleged invasion came as news arrived of pro-Russian rebel forces in the south of the country. The coastal town of Novoazovsk was overrun by rebels on Thursday, and heavy fighting between Ukrainian troops and rebel forces has been taking place around the strategic port of Mariupol.
Total casualties since the escalation of the conflict in April are said to be 2,119 killed and 5,043 wounded. Ninety hundred and fifty one civilians have been killed in the Donetsk region, which has seen the worst of the fighting.
Russia continues to deny military involvement in Ukraine, but Nato have noted a definite increase in the amount of Russian arms being supplied to the rebels. Fears are that Russia may attempt to grab more land, connecting the Crimea, which they annexed in March, to the Russian border.
A crisis meeting held in New York City on Thursday by the United Nations Security Council in response to the apparent invasion appeared to lay a great portion of blame on Russia, with US Ambassador Samantha Power accusing Russia of lying about its role in the escalating crisis.
Nato Brigadier General Niko Tak, speaking to the BBC, said: “[Nato has] detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defence systems, artillery, tanks and armoured personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
“Russia is reinforcing and resupplying separatist forces in a blatant attempt to change the momentum of the fighting, which is currently favouring the Ukrainian military.”
Nato estimates that 1,000 Russian troops may have crossed the border, although Russia have said that such claims are false.
Russia have not denied that there may be Russian citizens fighting in East Ukraine as volunteers, but places the blame decidedly on the Ukrainian government, whom they accuse of engaging in a war against its own people.
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