US accuses Russia of attacking Ukrainian troops

US accuses Russia of attacking Ukrainian troops

Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:11AM GMT

The US State Department has accused Russia of firing artillery from its territory at Ukrainian military positions and on Ukrainian troops.

“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Thursday.

The spokeswoman added that the evidence derived from “some intelligence information.”

“I can’t tell you what the information is based on,” Harf said.

US defense officials also said Russian forces had been shelling Ukrainian positions for several days, calling it “clearly a military escalation.”

However, Russia has denied the allegations.

“Unfortunately, it is not for the first time that we hear unproven allegations,” a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Washington said. “In fact, it is the Russian territory that is being shelled from the Ukraine.”

According to the spokesman, Russian territory came under fire from Ukraine nine times in June and July, killing one Russian citizen.

The United States blames Russian President Vladimir Putin for providing pro-Russian forces with weapons. It also accuses Russia of training the forces. Moscow has denied all charges.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly threatened President Putin with more sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.

“If Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and to back these separatists,” Obama said, then the country will “further isolate itself from the international community and the costs for Russia’s behavior will only continue to increase.”

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