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Official: 2 tank columns from Russia enter Ukraine


By DALTON BENNETT
Associated Press

NOVOAZOVSK, Ukraine (AP) -- 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 Thursday as its overmatched border guards fled, a top Ukrainian official said.

The comments by Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman 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 Thursday, cancelling a foreign trip and calling an emergency meeting of his security council.

Russian Forces Enter Ukraine

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 percent on Thursday, and major Russian state banks VTB and Sberbank dropped more than 4 percent.

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.

Lysenko said the missiles from Russia were fired about 11 a.m. 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 U.S. government accused Russia of orchestrating a new military campaign in Ukraine, helping rebel forces expand their fight and sending in tanks, rocket launchers and armored vehicles.

"These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said 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 sent 30 miles (48 kilometers) 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.


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pod4270 August 28 2014 at 11:49 AM

Quick someone get the president! Oh wait, he is on the golf course . . . no. . . . reading new lies from his teleprompter. . . wrong again. Today he is mixing it up (lol) and fundraising for the democratic party. Burn Rome burn.

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25 replies
markschupp August 28 2014 at 11:53 AM

Obama draws "blue line" in UKRAINE after Putin took away his red crayon

Flag Reply +52 rate up
11 replies
remadden August 28 2014 at 11:54 AM

Those two rounds of Obama sanctions during the last 6 months against Putin and Russia are really making an impact. (Yes I'm being sarcastic). This is the weakest the U.S. has been perceived on the world stage since the Carter years.

Flag Reply +46 rate up
16 replies
torp8r August 28 2014 at 11:57 AM

Thank God we have someone like Obama in charge !! Somebody go out to the golf course and tell him what's happening.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
8 replies
Mr. Brown August 28 2014 at 12:24 PM

Wake up Americans!!!!

BARRACK "HUSSEIN" OBAMA TELLS YOU THIS IS THE SAFEST TIME IN THE WORLD......R U KIDDING ME???

HUSSEIN IS AN INFILTRATOR! HE HAS CUT ARE MILLITARY SO WE CAN NOT REACT TO ALL THE ISSUES; HE HAS RUN ARE DEFICIT TO THE POINT OF NO RETURN; HE HAS DIVIDED THE RACES OF THE COUNTRY; HE HAS ALLOWED ILLEGALS TO FLOOD OUR BORDERS; HE HAS HAD MANY SCANDALS BUT LAUGHS THEM OFF.

WHEN ARE YOU AMERICANS GOING TO WAKE UP???????

Flag Reply +33 rate up
16 replies
raiderintacoma August 28 2014 at 12:12 PM

It seems that Putin has no fear of The Muslim Messiah or His JV administration. This Country has never looked so low in the eyes of the World....

Flag Reply +31 rate up
7 replies
markschupp August 28 2014 at 11:57 AM

O-racist POSPOTUS vows Putin will never raise his flag over the eighteenth hole!

Flag Reply +28 rate up
1 reply
schlauger1 markschupp August 28 2014 at 1:03 PM

Troll.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
3 replies
Big Daddy August 28 2014 at 11:56 AM

c'mon Barack get off the damb golf course and do something already :O(

Flag Reply +27 rate up
6 replies
EzinWy August 28 2014 at 1:46 PM

Everybody understands and knows Putin needs a land-way to/from Crimea from/to Russia through southeastern Ukraine. They can fight about it or talk about it. Fighting is winning at this point.

Flag Reply +22 rate up
2 replies
jimmac01 EzinWy August 28 2014 at 1:59 PM

Which country was it that Hitler just needed a little part of, so he could get better access to one of his other conquered countries? I forget....then he just took the country, because they objected.
A country's leader doesn't ride around shirtless, on a horse, if he doesn't think he's really someone like Alexander the Great, Napoleon, etc. That was done during Peacetime!
.Remember Ukraine might just be "in the way", so he can get to the other former satellite countries.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Art69z EzinWy August 28 2014 at 2:21 PM

Actually, most Americans probably think "Crimea" is some type of mixed drink, desert, or new reality show.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
STEPHEN August 28 2014 at 11:50 AM

Obama needs to draw a red line .

Flag Reply +15 rate up
13 replies
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