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Russians open fire in Ukraine, NATO reports

Kiev, Ukraine, Aug 23 (): The Russian army has progressed inside Ukrainian territories in recent days with artillery units operated by Russian work forces and is using to fire them at Ukrainian militaries, NATO officials said on Friday.

Russia escalated tensions sharply on Friday to a high level with Ukraine, since its quiet attack of Crimea in spring, now sending over 200 trucks from long aid convoy into the rebel-held eastern Ukraine over the protests of Kiev and, NATO stated, Russia conducting military actions on the territories of Ukraine.

The truck convoy is rushing into eastern Ukraine without the consent of the Kiev government, drawing extensive condemnation for its invasion into the area of its strife-torn neighbour.

The trucks are a part of a group of 260 vehicles and they had entered into Ukraine after being stopped for a week at the border amid worries that the operation was a Kremlin trick to help pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

By the late hours of afternoon, the trucks had touched Luhansk city, whose population was reduced to quarter-million people due to war. The people of the city had been suffering over past several weeks under extreme fighting between the separatists and Ukrainian forces. But, Russia says the white-trapped vehicles were carrying water, food, sleeping bags and generators.

At the New York’s United Nations, Ambassador of Russia, Vitaly Churkin, fiercely denied that any Russia troops were inside Ukraine. Also, Russia has steadfastly denied arming and supporting the rebels. But, the decision of Moscow to move individually, without the involvement of Red Cross has raised questions about its purposes.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, security services chief of Ukraine called the convoy as “direct invasion” and said the half-empty trucks would be used to transport weapons to rebels and spirit away the bodies of Russian fighters killed in eastern Ukraine. He said the trucks were operated by the Russian military personnel who were trained to drive tanks, artillery and combat vehicles.