Washington and Kiev Say Moscow Is Sending Heavily Armed Troops Into Ukraine

TIME

Ukrainian and U.S. officials accused Moscow of sending heavily armed columns across the border into Ukraine on Wednesday — a move that Washington says is likely part of a “Russian-directed counteroffensive” against Kiev.

During a press conference in Washington on Wednesday, U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said reports indicated that “additional columns of Russian tanks, multiple rocket launchers, and armored vehicles” entered southeastern Ukraine this week, sharply escalating the five-month-old conflict.

“These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely under way in Donetsk and Luhansk. Clearly, that is of deep concern to us,” Psaki told reporters.

In Kiev, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told the New York Times that an armored Russian column entered the town of Amvrosiyivka on Wednesday in what was likely an attempt to expand the current multipronged counteroffensive against Ukrainian troops.

Separatist forces have long claimed that they use weaponry captured from Ukrainian arsenals. However, American…

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