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Donnerstag, 23. April 2015

Russia Accuses US Of Sending Troops To Eastern Ukraine

Russia Accuses US Of Sending Troops To Eastern Ukraine

Thu, 23rd Apr 2015 16:16

Moscow/Vienna (Alliance News) - Russia on Thursday angrily rejected US accusations that it has deployed more air defence systems in Ukraine and accused Washington of sending military instructors to the country's conflict-torn east.
"The comments by the State Department's (spokeswoman) Marie Harf ... are of striking incompetence," Defence Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow, according to Russian news agencies.
Harf had said Wednesday that the Russian military has deployed additional air defence systems into eastern Ukraine, resulting in the highest amount of such equipment in the conflict zone since August.
The spokeswoman also accused Moscow of continuing to ship heavy weapons into eastern Ukraine, in violation of the latest ceasefire agreement, and of boosting its military presence along the border with Ukraine.
Konashenkov, the Russian Defence Ministry spokesman, went on to accuse Washington of covertly sending military instructors to the conflict zone.
"This is not happening on the Yavoriv training base ... as shown on Ukrainian TV, but directly in the battle zone," he said.
The US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffey Pyatt, denied Konashenkov's accusation on Twitter.
Some 300 US troops began training members of Ukraine's National Guard on the base in Western Ukraine's Lviv region on Monday. They were officially welcomed there by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
An uneasy ceasefire has been holding along the front line between pro-Russian separatists and government troops in eastern Ukraine since the truce was signed in the Belarusian capital Minsk in February.
Ertugrul Apakan, the Turkish diplomat who heads the mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) that monitors the ceasefire, complained that the observers still don't have unfettered access.
"The ceasefire remains fragile. The situation for the local population remains precarious," Apakan said at the OSCE's headquarters in Vienna.
Ukraine's Security Council said Thursday that seven soldiers were injured in clashes during the last 24 hours.
Copyright dpa

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