Kiev forces, Russian troops clash inside Ukraine

Kiev - Ukraine said its forces had attacked and partly destroyed a Russian armoured column that entered Ukrainian territory overnight, a firefight which if confirmed would mark a dramatic worsening of the conflict.

Russia's government denied its forces had crossed into Ukraine, and accused Kiev of trying to sabotage deliveries of aid, but European capitals accused the Kremlin of escalating the fighting.

Kiev and its Western allies have in the past repeatedly accused Russia of arming pro-Moscow separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and of sending undercover military units onto Ukrainian soil.

But if it is able for the first time to show the remains of Russian military vehicles captured or destroyed on its territory, that would give extra force to Kiev's allegations - and possibly spark a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin.

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military, told a news briefing that Kiev's forces had picked up a Russian military column crossing the border under cover of darkness.

"Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists," Lysenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko briefed British Prime Minister David Cameron on the incident and told him a "significant" part of the Russian column had been destroyed, according to statement from Poroshenko's office.

Britain summoned Russia's ambassador to ask him to clarify reports of a military incursion into Ukraine.

Flow of weapons

Earlier on Friday, responding to reports that a Russian column had entered Ukraine overnight, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had seen what he called a Russian incursion into Ukraine.

"It just confirms the fact that we see a continuous flow of weapons and fighters from Russia into eastern Ukraine and it is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine," the Danish Nato chief said.

A spokesperson for Russia's border guards service was quoted by Russian news agencies as denying that any Russian military units had entered Ukraine.

In a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry, Moscow accused Ukrainian forces of intensifying the fighting against pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to sabotage Russian efforts to get aid into rebel-held areas.

After Ukraine reported the firefight, Russia's rouble currency weakened against both the dollar and the euro. Russian shares were also dragged lower.

The dollar hit a three-week low against the safe-haven Swiss franc.

- Reuters
Read more on: nato russia ukraine
Sive Nxasana 2014-08-15 10:57:16 PM
Russia is becoming an incredibly dangerous country under Putin, and the only good thing about it is the counter weight to keeping the west from its excess.
Grant Webb 2014-08-15 11:56:54 PM
Putin- You warmongering scum!!!
Billy Hewie 2014-08-16 12:53:55 AM
I will reserve judgement, until i see photographic evidence. There has to be at least one smartphone in the vicinity of this 'clash'. But i won't be holding my breath.
Mark Russell 2014-08-16 03:49:52 AM
I'm with Billy. .... Not even one photograph of this game changing event? The Russians are seemingly more concerned that the kiev military have possibly attacked some of their own guys thinking they were Russians or engaged Blue on blue and are trying to get some backing out of their mistake. Suspect yet another false report out of kiev to discredit Russia by Let's see.
Wehr Wulf 2014-08-16 03:55:51 AM
Photo evidence? Why don't you go onto BBC and see the photo evidence from two British journalists who saw at least 23 Russian army vehicles entering Ukraine which are the same vehicles attacked shortly thereafter?
Motlalehi Samuel Letlaka 2014-08-16 04:43:53 AM
Just like Russia,the Ukrainian govt is full of propaganda...just to get Russia to be kicked from behind by the west,more harder..that's all! Where is the evidence? We have to live with the fact that,we'r in a neo-cold war.
Mark Russell 2014-08-16 09:40:31 AM
@mhj and magda.... The Russians have confirmed that the photo supplied was in fact taken on Russian soil and not in Ukraine. Should be easy enough to establish. The photos in the media are not evidence at all. Where is the destroyed column? Evidence is simple if this story is true. The destroyed convoy is not going anywhere and the Kiev forces "destroyed" it. Get the OSCE inspectors to the scene immediately as well as the intensional press or issue the coordinates and get since satellite confirmation. Taking a picture and claiming that this is the convoy and then stating that it was destroyed without any pictures of the destroyed vehicles is extremely thin yet again. After so many false reports...... You still just swallow the report as true. If the report is proven true then I can accept it. If it's proven to be fake, will you?
Michael Mooney 2014-08-16 09:01:42 PM
Russia under putin looking to become the new capstone of a reincarnate cccp.....only problem there military is outdated and poorly trained. .....nuclear weapons will never be an issue as the USA always had and still has ten times the no putin has
Billy Hewie 2014-08-16 09:07:53 PM
Come on Ukraine, where are the photo's of the destroyed column it is not Bigfoot. Like Mark Russell said if it was destroyed there would be remains that could be photographed. That would be a great prize for the Ukrainian government. PS I once caught a fish 3 meters long, but I forgot my camera so I don't have proof, But I said it happened so I guess it did. Man lying is easy.