FoxNews on July 24, 2014, reported that US officials said that Russia is firing artillery from its own territory into Ukraine to hit Ukrainian military sites, pointing to escalating Russian involvement in the deadly conflict. Excerpts below:
“This clearly is a military escalation,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, adding there is no question that Russian military — as opposed to Russia-backed separatists — are firing the shots.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf first made the accusation during a press briefing on July 24. She also claimed Moscow is boosting its military shipments to pro-Russian separatists.
“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to separatist forces in Ukraine and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russian to attack Ukrainian military positions,” Harf told reporters.
The Pentagon…confirmed her account, and said Russia has been firing artillery for several days now.
The U.S. repeatedly has accused Russia of stoking the Ukraine rebellion and has said it believes separatists shot down the Malaysian plane, killing nearly 300 people, with a Russian provided surface-to-air missile.
Harf said on July 23 the ultimate responsibility for the downing of the plane rests with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
Former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden told Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File” on July 24 that in light of recent developments, “it’s not just about Ukraine now, it’s about what Europe is going to look like for the next era.”