Russia ‘Formally at War With Ukraine’ – But Putin Won’t Admit it, Say Analysts
Russia is formally ‘at war’ with Ukraine and Moscow is building its troop base in preparation of open hostilities – but the Kremlin simply will not admit it, according to a US think tank.
The Atlantic Council has published a report, called Hiding in Plain Sight: Putin’s War in Ukraine, which states that the conflict in eastern Ukraine is ‘a Kremlin-manufactured war, fuelled by Russian-made military equipment, fought by Russian soldiers, and supported by Mr Putin’.
The think tank based its conclusions on satellite images, internet video and photographs – including material shared via social media by Russian soldiers.
Mr Putin continues to deny that Russians are fighting in Ukraine, and says that ‘separatists’ in eastern Ukraine are fighting under their own motivation.
The Atlantic Council report estimates that there are around 12,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. It follows a report by colleagues of the late Boris Nemtsov, who reached similar conclusions.
On May 28, the Kyiv Post reported on claims that ‘Russian/rebel troops’ were shelling Ukrainian positions at Donbas, using tanks and artillery banned under the Minsk ceasefire agreement.
Earlier this year, the Guardian newspaper published a report citing ‘conclusive proof’ that attacks on Ukrainian targets had originated on Russian soil.