Kiev accuses Russia of sending more tanks to east Ukraine

By on February 20, 2015

DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine/KIEV Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:38am EST

Members of the Ukrainian armed forces ride an armoured personnel carrier near Debaltseve, eastern Ukraine, February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Individuals of the Ukrainian armed forces experience an armoured personnel provider close to Debaltseve, jap Ukraine, February 20, 2015.

Credit Score: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

DEBALTSEVE, Ukraine/KIEV (Reuters) – Kiev accused Russia on Friday of sending more tanks and troops into jap Ukraine and mentioned they were heading against the rebellion-held town of Novoazovsk on the southern coast, increasing their presence on what can be the following key battlefront.

Russia didn’t straight away reply to the accusation which, if established, can be almost certain to finally kill off a tattered European-brokered truce that came into pressure on Sunday. Moscow has all the time denied such charges up to now.

Novoazovsk lies on the sea of Azov, 40 km (25 miles) east of the port city of Mariupol. It was once captured By Using rebels final 12 months and generally is a launching-pad for more drive on Mariupol, a gateway to the south and presumably to the Crimea peninsula annexed By Russia a 12 months in the past.

“In up to date days, regardless of the Minsk (ceasefire) settlement, armed forces gear and ammunition had been sighted crossing from Russia into Ukraine,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko mentioned.

He stated Greater Than 20 Russian tanks, 10 missile systems and busloads of troops had crossed the border into Ukraine.

Western countries have clung to the hope that they are able to revive the peace deal brokered By Means Of France and Germany within the Belarussian capital Minsk on Feb. 12 although the rebels overlooked it to take hold of the necessary railway hub of Debaltseve.

The German, Russian, Ukrainian and French overseas ministers are anticipated to satisfy subsequent week to pursue peace strikes, Russian media mentioned. But hopes were slim even before the most recent sighting of Russian reinforcements, also said By Using the us this week.

Renewed combating between the professional-Russian separatists and executive forces in east Ukraine additionally soured the mood as crowds gathered in Kiev for the primary anniversary of the uprising that toppled a Moscow-leaning president However culminated in war.

“The choice of assaults exhibit the terrorists do not need to totally silence their guns,” Ukrainian defense force spokesman Anatoly Stelmach stated, list Forty Nine attacks up to now 24 hours.

DEVASTATION IN DEBALTSEVE

The fiercest fighting on the grounds that a truce got here into effect on Sunday used to be in and around Debaltseve, a strategic rail hub, until demoralized and weary Ukrainian forces withdrew on Wednesday.

A Reuters correspondent who reached Debaltseve for the first time when you consider that this week’s preventing mentioned so much of the town was once in ruins, with little left of rows of condo blocks.

The black, blue and pink flag of the rebels’ self-proclaimed Donetsk Individuals’s Republic flew over the city corridor.

Among The partitions of the structures nonetheless standing have been p.c.-marked With The Aid Of bullets, or had enormous holes blown in them, and the burnt-out hulks of tanks and military vans lay deserted on the road.

Closely armed rebels and tanks patrolled the streets on the outskirts, where bridges had been blown up and the railway looked as if it would have suffered a number of injury. Some rebels have been on the lookout for Ukrainian soldiers with binoculars.

The rebels said executive forces had also shelled their positions, including within the separatist stronghold of Donetsk, the main city in the two areas they regulate.

In Kiev, massive crowds headed for Independence Square, referred to as in the community the Maidan, in the coronary heart of the capital to mark the primary anniversary of the shootings of about A Hundred protesters and the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovich, who fled to Russia soon after the killings.

Some People wore combat fatigues showing allegiance to pro-govt militias that have fought pro-Russian separatists who rose up in the east closing April. The temper was once somber.

Greater Than 5,600 People had been killed in combating due to the fact that mid-April ultimate year, quickly after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine following Yanukovich’s overthrow.

The failure to crush the rebel, which Kiev and the West say is backed With The Aid Of Russian troops and weaponry, is a bitter blow to the pro-Western management in Kiev.

It has now not best sapped morale but also deprived primary and western Ukraine of get right of entry to to an industrial area that supplied about Sixteen percent of gross domestic product, making the united states’s economic quandary even worse.

(Additional reporting By Way Of Natalya Zinets; Writing By Timothy Heritage; Editing Through Richard Balmforth and Giles Elgood)


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