The government in Kiev has once again accused Russia of sending tanks into eastern Ukraine.

Although unconfirmed, the Ukrainian military says 32 tanks and 30 trucks crossed over into the Luhansk region where rebels opposed to the government in Kiev are making a stand.

Citizen journalists, however, claim to have video showing the deployment:

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

In August, the Ukrainian government claimed Russia had invaded the country. NATO used the unverified invasion as a pretext when it announced troop deployments in Eastern Europe.

NATO released satellite imagery of what it said were tank and truck columns crossing over into Ukraine. Critics argued it was not clear if the images were of military vehicles inside Russia or Ukraine.

Donetsk Separatist Vote

On Sunday a vote was held in the Donetsk People’s Republic and  separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko was sworn into office.

Russia said it “respects” the vote after previously stating it supported it.

“We support the continuation of the Minsk process and advocate holding another meeting of the Contact Group,” said Russian foreign policy adviser Yuri Ushakov.

The Minsk process is a reference to a ceasefire agreement reached in the capital of Belorussia on September 5.

Earlier this year separatist leaders declared victory after a large number of residents in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions voted in a Crimea-style referendum calling for the establishment of People’s Republics.

On May 24, the two separatist republics signed an agreement creating a confederation called the Federal State of Novorossiya, or New Russia.

 


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