[Newsweek] Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that Russian forces had been deployed in Ukrainian territory amid claims that around 15,000 Russian soldiers have been sent to the Donetsk region.
Reports of intensifying Russian military activity on its border with eastern Ukraine have increased in the last 12 hours with Reuters reporting spotting two Russian military armored columns near the Ukrainian-Russian border, one of them firmly on Ukrainian territory, the other driving back into Russia with wounded soldiers.
As fighting has intensified, the Ukrainian town of Novoazovsk was captured by separatist forces this morning according to the Ukrainian Defence and Security Council’s social media.
[Wlky.com] A British government source told CNN on Friday that Russia has moved 4,000 to 5,000 military personnel — a figure far higher than one U.S. official’s earlier claim of 1,000 troops. Some 20,000 troops are on border and “more may be on the way,” the source added.
The Ukrainain president is thus saying that the bulk of the Russian troops that were on the border have crossed over.
The UK source, giving his government’s analysis of Russian troop movements, surmised that right now “the primary role of the current Russian deployments inside Ukraine is probably to assist, support and take the pressure off the separatist forces in order to maintain pressure on Kiev to decentralize.
“However, we are not ruling out more ambitious plans, including a land corridor from the Russian border to Crimea.”
The U.N. human rights office reports at least 2,593 people killed between mid-April and August 27, and that many innocent civilians have been killed, hurt or trapped in urban areas.