Ukraine crisis: Pro-Russian rebels prepare for new counter-offensive
A convoy of 280 Russian trucks carrying water, food and medicine has been stuck on the border, with Kiev concerned it could serve as a Trojan horse to bring in military supplies
Sunday 17 August 2014
Pro-Russian rebels are planning a major counter-offensive against Ukrainian government forces after they receive tanks, armoured vehicles and other military equipment and an influx of troops trained in Russia, a separatist leader said in a video released yesterday.
The four-month conflict in eastern Ukraine has reached a critical phase, with Kiev and Western governments watching nervously to see if Russia will intervene in support of the increasingly besieged rebels – an intention that Moscow denies.
Alexander Zakharchenko, the prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said the rebels were in the process of receiving some 150 armoured vehicles, including 30 tanks, and 1,200 fighters who, he said, had spent four months training in Russia.
"They are joining at the most crucial moment," he said in a video reportedly recorded on Friday. He did not specify where the vehicles would come from.
Moscow has come under heavy Western sanctions over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. It also faces accusations that it is supporting separatists in east Ukraine with troops and funds, which Russia denies.
On Friday's Ukraine said it had partially destroyed an armoured column that had crossed the border from Russia. Moscow made no threat of retaliation, saying it was a "fantasy" that its armoured vehicles had entered the country.
Mr Zakharchenko, a Ukrainian, took over from Alexander Borodai, a Russian citizen, last week, and his combative comments appear to dash hopes that changes at the top of the rebel leadership might signal willingness to end hostilities.
A convoy of 280 Russian trucks carrying water, food and medicine has been stuck on the border, with Ukraine concerned it could serve as a Trojan horse to bring in military supplies or create a pretext for armed intervention.
But the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has been checking the contents to make sure there is no military equipment, said last night that a deal had been struck to allow the convoy to enter the country.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 3 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway in dense fog
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The majority of sex workers enjoy their job - why should we find that surprising?
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
George Clooney and Amal fail to get special treatment at New York restaurant
Cindy Crawford 'un-PhotoShopped' viral Marie Claire image was doctored, photographer claims
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A leading Leicestershire based chilled food ma...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Accountant (ACCA, ...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company has an exciting op...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This European market leader for security...