Vladimir Putin has up to 10,000 troops in Ukraine, Russian opposition claims

Russia has 8000 to 10,000 soldiers in eastern Ukraine and has spent more than 53 billion roubles ($1.3 billion) supplying separatist rebels, according to a report compiled by Russian opposition activists.

The report, titled “Putin. War.”, was the last project of murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov, who used open source information and interviews with families to paint a picture contradicting Moscow’s argument that no serving Russian troops are fighting in Ukraine.

“We gathered what we think is comprehensive proof of the presence of Russian troops,” said Ilya Yashin, one of the authors of the report.

Yashin and colleagues from the liberal RPR-Parnas party and opposition journalists helped finish the 65-page report following Nemtsov’s February 27 murder in central Moscow.

Including the Russian military, rebel troop numbers have reached as many as 37,000, according to the report​. It also claims at least 220 Russian soldiers have been killed in eastern Ukraine.

“Neither Putin nor any of his generals have the courage to admit the fact of military aggression against Ukraine,” the report said. “Shallow lies and hypocrisy are being passed off as great political wisdom.”

“The war with Ukraine is an undeclared war, a vile cynical war which amounts to a crime against all of the Russian nation. Putin will go down in history as the president who made Russians and Ukrainians foes,” he told a news conference.

Full article: Vladimir Putin has up to 10,000 troops in Ukraine, Russian opposition claims (Sydney Morning Herald)

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