The cease-fire was set to start on Saturday, but in the meantime reports indicate that Vladimir Putin and Russia may already be increasing tension in Ukraine again. Business Insider noted that Russia sent a giant convoy of military equipment and new troops into Ukraine as the peace talks were ongoing:
About 50 tanks, 40 missile systems, and 40 armored vehicles crossed overnight into eastern Ukraine from Russia via the Izvaryne border crossing into the separatist Luhansk region, a Kiev military spokesman said on Thursday.
Armored columns of Russian-speaking soldiers without insignias have advanced around Debaltseve, which has seen heavy fighting recently.
Kiev (AFP) – Ukraine said on Friday it had destroyed part of a Russian military convoy that crossed onto its territory in an incursion that has sent cross-border tensions rocketing.
NATO accused Russia of active involvement in the “destabilisation” of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Kremlin separatists have been fighting against Kiev for four months.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told British Prime Minister David Cameron that government artillery had destroyed a “considerable part” of a small military convoy that entered the country, the presidency said in a statement. Continue reading
Exclusive: Telegraph witnesses Russian armoured vehicles and military trucks cross the border from Russia into Ukraine
A separate, larger convoy of around 270 Russian trucks, which Moscow claims is carrying aid, rumbled to a halt just short of the border on Thursday night, while in east Ukraine, shells hit the centre of rebel-held Donetsk for the first time.
The Telegraph witnessed a column of vehicles including both armoured personal carriers and soft-skinned lorries crossing into Ukraine at an obscure border crossing near the Russian town of Donetsk shortly before 10pm local time.
Uncertainty surrounded a 262-truck “aid convoy” on Wednesday that appeared to grind to a halt before reaching the border
The convoy, which departed from an army base near Moscow on Tuesday, appeared to vanish on Wednesday, adding to confusion surrounding the route and purpose of the cargo.
Last seen in the city of Voronezh, 300 miles south of Moscow, on Tuesday, the convoy never reached the border near the Russian city of Belgorod that the Russian foreign ministry said it would use.
Rumours that the convoy had headed south from Voronezh to cross the border directly into rebel-held territory – a move that would be viewed by Kiev as tantamount to a declaration of war – could not be substantiated.
Russian state television initially reported the convoy to be en route to Belgorod. But journalists waiting at the Pletenivka checkpoint, on the Ukrainian side of the border where Russia had said the convoy would cross, saw no sign of the vehicles. Continue reading