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Ukraine's Poroshenko warns of "full-scale invasion" threat from Russia

Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 01:15

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko is warning of a renewal of ''full-scale military actions'' by Russia in eastern Ukraine. He told parliament that Ukraine ''must be truly ready for this''. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday (June 4) there were 9,000 Russian servicemen on Ukrainian territory and warned of the threat of a "full-scale invasion" by Russia along the whole joint border. "A colossal threat of renewal of full-scale military actions by the Russian terrorist groups remains. Now on the territory of Ukraine there are 14 Russian tactical groups with total number of personnel exceeding 9,000 servicemen. Concentration of the Russian servicemen near the state border is bigger by half than a year ago," said Poroshenko addressing MPs. He was speaking in parliament a day after Ukrainian forces fought their most serious battle for months with Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country, endangering an already shaky ceasefire. "The military must be ready as much for a renewal of an offensive by the enemy in the Donbass as they are for a full-scale invasion along the whole length of the border with Russia. We must be truly ready for this," he said. "Yesterday the Ukrainian armed forces gave an adequate response. We warned our international partners, brought back artillery from the withdrawal line where it was positioned according to the Minsk agreements and rebutted attack of Russian soldiers," Poroshenko added. Ukraine's military said the Russian-backed rebels had tried to advance using tanks and up to 1,000 fighters west of the main rebel stronghold of Donetsk, in the most significant escalation of the conflict in around three months and in defiance of a ceasefire deal. The separatists denied their forces had launched an assault on government-held Maryinka, a town which had a pre-conflict population of around 9,900 and lies 15 km (9 miles) west of Donetsk. They accused government troops of firing artillery at rebel territory around Donetsk, killing 15 people. The fighting, in which both sides used heavy weapons, went far beyond the regular low-level skirmishing which has regularly punctuated a ceasefire brokered in February by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, but which has nonetheless claimed lives on an almost daily basis.

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Ukraine's Poroshenko warns of "full-scale invasion" threat from Russia

Thursday, June 04, 2015 - 01:15