1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

Kyiv calls Berlin amid Russian incursion reports

November 7, 2014

Ukraine's president, speaking with the German chancellor, has accused Russia of a "brutal violation of international law." This followed claims that an armored convoy including 32 tanks had entered eastern Ukraine.


Ukraine was hit by a "substantial rollback" and faced a further escalation of violence, President Petro Poroshenko said on Friday after hearing reports from his security command that a heavily armored unit had crossed into Ukraine from Russia.

Some 32 tanks, 16 artillery howitzers and 30 trucks carrying ammunition crossed into separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine, National Security Council spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in Kyiv, according to an official transcript.

This promises to exacerbate efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces, Poroshenko told German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a telephone call on Friday, his office said.

Merkel, for her part, expressed "serious concern" over the reports of fresh Russian troop movements in the region, her office said.

Security spokesman Lysenko also said that five soldiers were killed and 16 injured in fighting in and around Donetsk over the past 24 hours.

This comes two months after a ceasefire was agreed between the Kyiv administration, the Kremlin, the EU and separatist leaders. Ever since, full-scale confrontations have halted along most of the frontline, though sporadic shelling has continued at flashpoints around the industrial east. Claims of fresh troop movements, however, are now stoking fears of a return to all-out fighting.

Ceasefire blown off

A NATO officer said on Friday that the Western military alliance was looking into the incursion allegations.

"If this crossing into Ukraine is confirmed it would be further evidence of Russia's aggression and direct involvement in destabilizing Ukraine," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official also confirmed an increase in Russian troop movements along the Ukraine border.

Friday's allegation came as the Minsk ceasefire agreement appeared to be in tatters, and it coincided with renewed tensions between Kyiv and separatists in eastern Ukraine who elected leaders for self-declared republics in Luhansk and Donetsk last weekend, despite international condemnation.

Kyiv responded to the ballot - which it deemed illegal under the September truce - by deploying more soldiers to several eastern Ukraine cities in a bid to repel any possible attacks by pro-Russia separatists.

Both Kyiv and Western leaders have been watching Moscow since earlier this year when Russian President Vladimir Putin dispatched soldiers into the autonomous Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which was thereafter annexed by Russia despite international treaties that prohibit such unilateral action.

That move came after the former pro-Kremlin Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country after months of mass popular protests over his shelving of a proposed association agreement with the European Union.

glb/pfd (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

Journalist Evan Gershkovich

Russia detains Wall Street Journal reporter for 'spying'

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage