Russia denies NATO accusations over troops in Ukraine
The West has imposed sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, saying Moscow supported the rebels
Russia denied accusations by NATO on Wednesday that it has sent tanks and troops to eastern Ukraine in the past few days.
NATO's top military commander Philip Breedlove said in Bulgaria the alliance had spotted military equipment arriving from Russia in regions of east Ukraine that are held by pro-Russian separatist rebels.
General-Major Igor Konashenkov, a Russian Defense Ministry official, dismissed the comments as anti-Russian "hot air" and said "there was and is no evidence" behind the NATO accusations.
"We have already stopped paying attention to unsubstantiated statements by NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove, on Russian military convoys he 'observed' allegedly invading Ukraine," Konashenkov said.
The West has imposed sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine, saying Moscow has provided the rebels with arms and reinforced them with troops since they rose up a month Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in March.
Breedlove said in Bulgaria that NATO had seen "Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops entering into Ukraine" in recent days.
Fighting has intensified around the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in east Ukraine, putting further pressure on a patchy ceasefire between rivals. Kiev says it is redeploying forces to prepare for a possible new rebel offensive.
U.N. says hundreds killed during Ukraine cease-fireAt least 3,660 people have been killed over six months of fighting, according to U.N. estimates World News
Russia behaving like ISIS group: LithuaniaGrybauskaite also slammed the West for a lack of leadership in standing up both to the ISIS in the Middle East and Russia in Ukraine World News
UK: new Russia sanctions could be lifted if ceasefire agreedWestern officials said sanctions against Russia will be announced on Friday in response to Moscow’s support of Ukraine rebels News
Obama puts Ukraine violence squarely on RussiaObama says U.S. might impose new economic sanctions on Russia World News