Though Russia has, in the past, repeatedly denied its troops have crossed the border and are fighting in Ukraine, reports now coming out of the region indicate that Russian invasion forces, including heavy armor, are now actively supporting pro-Moscow separatists.
The Washington Post reports that that two armored columns of Russian fighters have just intensified the conflict, capturing a key coastal town near the Ukraine-Russia border.
The two Russian columns, including tanks and armored fighting vehicles, entered the town of Novoazovsk on the Sea of Azov after a battle in which Ukrainian army positions came under fire from Grad rockets launched from Russian territory, according to the spokesman, Col. Andriy Lysenko.
“Our border servicemen and guardsmen retreated as they did not have heavy equipment,” Lysenko said in a statement.
Ukraine’s president, who is now urgently demanding an immediate UN action, accuses Russia of effectively “invading” his country. A statement from Ukraine’s foreign ministry raises dire warnings about the conflict’s potential for drawing the entire world into war.
“Recent Russian actions clearly demonstrate that Moscow is bluntly drawing Ukraine and the entire world into a full-scale war,” Ukraine’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Petro Poroshenko, the president, cancelled a planned trip to Turkey and demanded an urgent meeting of the UN security council after the six-month crisis deepened with reports of fresh Russian incursions along Ukraine’s south-eastern coast.
A report on Yahoo! News indicates that the worsening situation in Ukraine is prompting high-level action at the White House:
President Barack Obama will meet top national security aides on Thursday, amid accusations Russia has sent troops into Ukraine and as he deliberates possible strikes in Syria against Islamic State militants.
Obama will gather members of his National Security Council, which includes the secretaries of state and defense, intelligence chiefs and top military brass, in the secure Situation Room of the White House at 2000 GMT, officials said.
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