NATO warns of increase of Russian troops near Ukraine border

imgNATO has seen an increase in Russian troops and equipment along the Ukraine border and is looking into reports of Russian tanks crossing the border into eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military has accused Russia of sending a column of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer artillery systems and truckloads of troops into the country’s east to support pro-Russian separatists fighting government forces.

“We are aware of the reports of Russian troops and tanks crossing the border between Ukraine and Russia and are looking into these reports,” a NATO military officer said.

“We can confirm a recent increase in Russian troops and equipment along the eastern border of Ukraine.

“If this crossing into Ukraine is confirmed it would be further evidence of Russia’s aggression and direct involvement in destabilizing Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s military remains adamant that Russia is providing military support to rebels in eastern Ukraine.

“The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the front lines,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said.

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