US sees 'Russia-directed' counter-offensive in Ukraine

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze after shelling by pro-Russian militants on the outskirts of the small southern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk, Donetsk region, on August 27, 2014The United States warned Wednesday that apparent incursions by Russian military units into Ukraine indicate a Moscow-orchestrated counter-offensive in rebel-contested areas. Kremlin-aligned rebels in east Ukraine have seized territory from retreating government forces, with Kiev accusing Russia of pushing columns of its tanks and weaponry toward towns in southeastern Ukraine. “These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counter-offensive is likely under way in Donetsk and Lugansk,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. Psaki also said Washington has noted “the Russian government’s unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles (48 kilometers) inside Ukraine.”

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