UKRAINIAN National Security and Defence Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko accused Russia yesterday of sending an armoured column across the border.
Mr Lysenko said “at least” 32 tanks, 16 artillery systems and 30 lorries carrying soldiers and ammunition had crossed into areas held by resistance forces in the country’s east.
But as with many previous allegations of Russian military incursions, he did not say how his agency had obtained the information.
Moscow did not initially respond to the charge, though earlier yesterday it rejected accusations from the US-led Nato military alliance that it was deploying more troops near the Ukrainian border.
Mr Lysenko also reported intensifying clashes in the Lugansk region, which alongside Donetsk which has voted to secede from Ukraine and has proclaimed an independent people’s republic.
Anti-fascist fighters in Lugansk have made gains at the expense of Kiev’s army in recent days and Ukrainian officials say five more soldiers died on Thursday.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has held phone talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which he complained that conditions of a ceasefire signed with the resistance on September 5 were being “repeatedly flouted.”
He also attacked Russia for sending humanitarian aid into the rebel-held areas without letting Ukrainian border guards inspect the contents.
Russia said it stood by the proposed peace process agreed in Minsk, but “not everything depends on” Moscow.
Resistance forces in eastern Ukraine reported that more human remains were found at the Malaysia Airlines flight 17 crash site yesterday.
Evidence will be handed by agents of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe to forensic specialists in Kharkiv.