- Russian leaders are no longer succeeding to hide the fact that Russian troops are fighting and dying in large numbers in eastern Ukraine, said Deputy Secretary Alexander Vershbow on Thursday.
Some hours earlier the US Secretary of State Victoria Nuland stated that Russia has sent thousands of troops across the border.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is more cautious in his statements, but he stressed that there has been a clear Russian escalation east of Ukraine.
- I will not give specific numbers, but what we can confirm is that we have seen a significant increase in support from Russia to the separatists. We have seen troops, we have seen training of the separatists, and we have also seen a significant increase in deliveries of heavy equipment, Stoltenberg said at a press conference in Helsinki on Thursday.
He also said that more than 1,000 pieces of heavy equipment has been delivered from Russia to the separatists.
- We are talking about artillery, armored vehicles and advanced air defense systems, Stoltenberg said.
Russia categorically dismisses that the country has sent troops to fight with the pro Russian separatists in the neighboring country.
- These figures, which are taken out of thin air, of course demoralizes and confuses the world community, says Aleksandr Lukasjevitsj, spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On Friday the UN Security Council will meet to assess the latest attempts to get the ceasefire to work in east-Ukraine.
The new cold war is getting colder by the week.
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