Ukraine: Russia invades with 2 tank attacks

ovazovsk - Two columns of Russian tanks and military vehicles fired Grad missiles from Russia at a border post in southeastern Ukraine, then rolled into the country on Thursday as its outgunned border guards fled, a top Ukrainian official said.

The comments by Colonel Andriy Lysenko, a spokesperson for Ukraine's National Security Council, and other statements from Nato, the pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine and the United States left no doubt that the Russian military had invaded southeastern Ukraine.

A top Nato official said at least 1 000 Russian troops have poured into Ukraine with sophisticated equipment and have been in direct "contact" with Ukrainian soldiers, resulting in casualties.

"Russian forces have entered Ukraine," Ukraine's president declared on Thursday, cancelling a foreign trip and calling an emergency meeting of his security council.

President Petro Poroshenko summoned the council as the strategic southeastern town of Novoazovsk appeared firmly under the control of separatists and their Russian backers, a new front in the war in eastern Ukraine between the separatists and Poroshenko's government in Kiev. "Today the president's place is in Kiev," Poroshenko said.

Russian stock markets dived as fears grew that the country was escalating its role in the conflict, a move that could provoke the U.S. and European Union to impose further sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals. Russia's MICEX index dropped nearly 2% on Thursday, and major Russian state banks VTB and Sberbank dropped more than 4%.

Brig Gen Nico Tak told reporters at Nato headquarters that the ultimate aim of Russia was to stave off defeat for the separatists and turn eastern Ukraine into a "frozen conflict" that would destabilize the country "indefinitely."

Nato estimated that another 20 000 Russian troops were right over the Russian border.

Tak said the 1 000 Russian troops operating inside Ukraine was a conservative estimate and provided satellite imaginary showing an incursion of great sophistication. He refused to specify exactly what the "contact" with Ukrainian troops was.

Two columns

Lysenko said the missiles from Russia were fired about 11:00 and about an hour and a half later, two columns, including tanks and other fighting vehicles began an attack. They entered Ukraine from Veselo-Voznesenka and Maximovo of the Rostov region in Russia.

The leader of the insurgency, Alexander Zakharchenko, said in an interview on Russian state television that 3 000 to 4 000 Russians have fought on the separatist side since the armed conflict began in April.

The US government accused Russia of orchestrating a new military campaign in Ukraine, helping rebel forces expand their fight and sending in tanks, rocket launchers and armoured vehicles.

"These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counter-offensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk," US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. She voiced concern about overnight deliveries of materiel in southeast Ukraine near Novoazovsk and said Russia was being dishonest about its actions, even to its own people.

Russian forces, she said, are being sent48km inside Ukraine, without them or their families knowing where they are going. She cited reports of burials in Russia for those who have died in Ukraine and wounded Russian soldiers being treated in a St Petersburg hospital.

- AP
Read more on: nato russia ukraine
Julson Molefe Molefe 2014-08-28 04:41:28 PM
US is sponsoring terrorism in Gaza, Syria and Iraq and no one is stopping them
Mike Lamb 2014-08-28 04:43:07 PM
Putin knows that Obama's indecision over everything will let him get away with it.
Nikola Jevtic 2014-08-28 04:43:14 PM
I hope Russia wipes out these Western Dogs of war!
Jacob Maermerrie 2014-08-28 04:46:32 PM
And now we also know why the trucks that carried the " humanitarian aid " carried only 20% of the normal payloads__the rest were Russian soldiers transported to within striking range of the Ukraine border. Where are those idiots like Mark and Vox Populi now ; oh, I know__they want proof!!
William Thompson 2014-08-28 05:10:12 PM
Why dont you guys get DSTV and watch RT and get the otherside of the story. You will be surprised at the lies in the CIA backed western media, it is an eye opener. By the way thisnis also the view of American actors like steven segal.
Dean Stander 2014-08-28 05:15:20 PM
Anything to crush the western regime! Go kick some ass Putin/
Jo Potgieter 2014-08-28 05:15:27 PM
Assassinating him won't stop his work.
Kabelo Magadlela 2014-08-28 05:35:53 PM
Thank you my brother. Most listen to CNN lies too much. Where is the evidence about MH17 plane crush. USA doesn't want to supply satellite images. They Kiev shot the plane.
Kabelo Magadlela 2014-08-28 05:39:29 PM
Kiev attacked Russian borders what did NATO say. Nothing. I support Russia move to keep peace. Because CIA is in Ukraine but nothing is sad about that.
Steven Swart 2014-08-28 06:39:10 PM
Let's see if Russia stops here.....