Friday, 13 June 2014

Russia Sends Tanks Into Eastern Ukraine

Russia has sent tanks and heavy weaponry to Ukraine in support of separatists in the country's east, the US State Department says.

Several tanks and rocket launchers were moved into Ukraine from an arms depot inside Russia, the department said.

"We assess that separatists in eastern Ukraine have acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers," spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

The statement comes after Kiev alleged three tanks had crossed from Russia into Ukrainian territory this week. Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko told his

Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday that the action was "unacceptable".


Ms Harf said three T-64 tanks, several BM-21 or Grad rocket launchers and other vehicles had crossed into Ukraine's east as part of a convoy.

Amateur videos posted on the internet in recent days show the same kind of tanks moving through cities in eastern Ukraine, including Snizhnye, Torez, and Makiyivka.

"Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces, but no Ukrainian tank units have been operating in that area," she said.

"We are confident that these tanks came from Russia. This is unacceptable. A failure by Russia to deescalate the situation will lead to additional costs." Moscow has denied the allegation.

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