“Russian troops deployed in Ukraine” – Poroshenko

Posted: August 28, 2014 in World News
Tags: , ,

Ukraine’s president has cancelled a visit to Turkey, citing “Russian troop deployments” in the country’s east.

His remarks came as pro-Russian rebels opened a new front in the south by seizing the coastal town
of Novoazovsk.

Nato says it has detected a significant increase of Russian arms being supplied to the rebels over the
past two weeks.

Russia has denied that its forces have crossed Ukraine’s border. At least 2,119 people have been
killed in four months of fighting.

The United Nations Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting in New York on Thursday at 18:00 GMT to discuss the crisis.

Nato Brigadier General Niko Tak told the BBC that there had been a “significant escalation in the level
and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine” over the past two weeks.

Pro-Russian rebels have been fighting Ukrainian forces in the city of Donetsk for months “[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,” he said.

“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.”

More than 1,000 Russian troops are reportedly operating inside Ukraine, both supporting the separatists and fighting on their side.

‘Sharp aggravation’

On Thursday, President Petro Poroshenko said he had called a meeting of the Ukrainian security
council in light of the deteriorating situation.

“I have made a decision to cancel my working visit to the Republic of Turkey due to the sharp aggravation of the situation in Donetsk region… as Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine,” Mr Poroshenko said in a statement.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said Russia had “unleashed a war in Europe”, adding
that the world should take “effective steps”.

But Russia’s envoy at the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), Andrey
Kelin, denied there were any Russian troops.

Government forces had made significant advances against the separatists in recent weeks, but these gains seem in doubt with rebels now operating in two distinct areas of Donetsk region.

Separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko told Russian TV that 3-4,000 Russian citizens were
fighting in their ranks.

He said many of the Russians were former service- people or current service personnel on leave, insisting that all were volunteers.

In other developments:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded an explanation from Russia’s President Vladimir Putin amid the reports of an incursion

-French President Francois Hollande said it would be “intolerable” if Russian troops were in Ukraine, and demanded that Russia stop sending aid to the rebels

-The OSCE is holding a special meeting in Vienna to discuss developments in Ukraine.

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