Ukraine: Russia lets rebels attack from its side

Ukraine: Russia lets rebels attack from its side
# 04 July 2014 18:56 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Russia is letting separatist rebels use its territory to attack Ukrainian border posts, a top security official charged Friday as clashes in southeastern Ukraine killed nine more government troops, APA reports quoting Associated Press.

National Security Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy also said Russia was massing troops near the Ukrainian border — a statement that could not immediately be verified. The two neighbors, who share a 2,000-kilometer (1,250-mile) border that is unmarked and unguarded outside of a few checkpoints, have been trading claims and counterclaims ever since Ukraine began fighting pro-Russia separatists in April.

The government said nine troops were killed and 13 others wounded in Friday's fighting in the east, according to the Interfax news agency. It did not elaborate on where or how the deaths occurred.

Ukraine says Russia is arming and supporting the separatists, a charge that Russia denies. Ukraine is also wary about Russia grabbing more territory after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea in March. Putin, however, has ignored rebel requests to join Russia and calls by Russian nationalists to send troops into Ukraine for fear of more Western sanctions.

Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, the head of Ukraine's SBU security service, told journalists that over the past four days 20 Russian tanks or armored vehicles had illegally crossed the border to take part in the insurgency.

For its part, Russia said Ukrainian troops fired shells that landed on the Russian side and hit Russian border posts, wounding one customs officer.

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